Archive for the ‘Science Fiction’ Category

Too much product placement. (Is this show sponsored by Burger King and New Coke?)

Too many characters. (who again are siblings ?)

Too many references. (A corrupt mayor… Events leading up to the 4th of July… A chief with lines like “I can do anything I want, I’m the chief of police” … Jaws isn’t even eighties)

Too many repetitive scenes. (We get it. El can move things. El can locate people after being blindfolded.)

Contrary to other fans of the show, this guy here was disappointed in Season 3. Even got bored at certain moments. And the end doesn’t promise anything better for Season 4.

Oh well.

Still a great show though. Eighties forever!

www.imdb.com/title/tt4574334

Three more episodes of this fascinating series of standalone near future dramatic thrillers. Not so thrilling or scary or thought provoking as before, but a good watch nevertheless.

Striking Vipers (***) isn’t half as scary as other episodes. In fact, the technological novelty kinda looks appealing. It’s a virtual reality game console that makes you become the character you chose. The idea could be frightening, but this time the makers turned it around and made it something more sexual and romantic. Quite intriguing. Well acted.

In Smithereens (**) a man kidnaps an employee of a major social network company in order to be able to speak to the founder of the company. He manages to do so and the end is a bit of a disappointment. It’s the kind of kidnapping show that makes you wonder why the person being kidnapped is not cooperating with the police to being rescued.

Miley Cyrus plays an unhappy pop star in Rachel, Jack and Ashley Too (**). Her manager controls every aspect of her life and just wants the business to boom. Just as a new A.I. lookalike robot is launched on the market, things get ugly. But thanks to one of the robots and the owners of it, the pop star is saved.

www.imdb.com/title/tt2085059/episodes

 

This is quite a unique socially critical science fiction comedy! With a great lead. Lakeith Stanfield is the kind of actor who’s been in a lot of movies recently, but hasn’t quite had a major hit as a lead. This wasn’t a hit either. But it got him noticed a bit more.

He’s Cassius Green, a young man ready to start a career in a telemarketing company. When he starts using his white voice, his sales performance goes up and he’s ready to get promoted to be a Power Caller. But that promotion isn’t without consequences. He’s losing his friends and his girlfriend and he’s entering a world he can’t seem to escape.

The first half of the movie is great. It shows a guy who’s questioning his lack of ambition and then suddenly finds the talent that can bring in the big bucks. It comes with a lot of quirky humor. And some visual surprises as well. Then the social critique becomes stronger and it almost becomes too much of a pamflet against capitalism. Luckily, the last part becomes so bizarre that it kills the seriousness. If you wonder what equisapiens are, watch until the end.

It’s not by Michel Gondry. But feels inspired by his movies.

www.imdb.com/title/tt5688932

Watched this a week ago.

Kinda forgot what it was all about.

Ah yes. Marvel Universe. Female heroine. Sassy Brie Larson. Funny Samuel Jackson. Chase scenes. Aliens. A plot twist. A lot of confusion. Earthlings bonding with aliens against a common evil force. Nineties. Cool soundtrack.

www.imdb.com/title/tt4154664

 

Bird Box – *

Posted: January 6, 2019 in 2018, Fantasy, Horror, Science Fiction, USA, X

45 million Netflix users have watched this apocalyptic horror movie within a week of its release. According to Netflix of course. It may be true though. And even when it isn’t true, the media picked up on it and made it the popcorn movie everyone is talking about.

But no-one is talking about it positively. The overall feeling is that of disappointment. This is not a good movie. It’s not living up to the hype. Earlier this year a similar movie scored really well at the regular box office and was far superior. A Quiet Place had the perfect balance between drama and horror. This one has no balance at all. It’s a mess.

The story is absurd. Out of nowhere a ‘presence’ makes people commit suicide on the spot. The only solution is to survive with a blindfold on. Sandra Bullock plays one of those survivors, who finds refuge in a house. Five years later, she’s urged to escape with two little kids as the house isn’t safe anymore. A new rescue centre is welcoming her but getting there is tricky as it’s down the river.

A Quiet Place made more sense, even though it’s also about a supernatural ‘presence’. In that movie people couldn’t make a sound and had to be quiet to survive. The audience could easily relate and feel the tension when a sound was made. In this movie in order to survive you have to be blind. So, the only way to feel the same tension as the characters is to not look. Well, that’s not really working if you’re watching a movie, is it?

Go watch Roma instead.

www.imdb.com/title/tt2737304

This is one weird series of single episodes about ventures into the world of the not so distant future with its scary technological changes. Some episodes are excellent, others are crap. Some episode makes you feel uncomfortable and lead to debates with friends. Others are so far-fetched that it’s difficult to get into the story.

As it goes: here’s the list ranked from best to worst. And the new episode is at the bottom.

A nerdy game developer that started up a successful company with his former best friend, is now being bullied at the office. However, at home he dives into his own creation of a Star Trek like game in which virtual reality versions of his colleagues are now under his command. USS Callister *** (S4/1) is a riot.

In Hang The DJ *** (S4/4) couples are matched by a system. People are forced to go on dates that are chosen for them. Two first time daters kinda like each other but the system only gives them 24 hours on the first date. Can they beat the system? Really clever episode. 

Arkangel *** (S4/2) is directed by Jodie Foster. A mother is so obsessed about losing her child that she has an implant put into her that is linked to some kind of tablet on which she can check the location of where her kid is and also see what she is experiencing. Once the child becomes a teenager, she lets go of the control system until she re-discovers the app several years later when she’s worried about her daughter’s behavior.

Nosedive *** (S3/1) makes for uncomfortable viewing, because you see a beginning trend around you all the time. People seem to only do thing for the amount of likes they get on Instagram or the amount of followers they have on twitter. But what if that amount dictates your life and what if you get discriminated when the amount goes down? How far will you go to get more likes? Scary shit.

 A rather reserved girl meets an extrovert woman in a club at the beach resort town San Junipero. Maybe this can be her first romantic and sexual experience? Unfortunately at the strike of midnight, life stops and can only be taken back a week later. Most of the episode takes place in 1987 and has the coolest music and outfits you can think of. But then the twist happens and it’s over. San Junipero **(*) (S3/4) starts of great, but finishes soft.

The Entire History Of You **(*) (S1/3) is the strongest episode of season 1. But it’s a BBC series, so season 1 only has three episodes. It’s a scary episode that makes you feel very uncomfortable. The idea of having a chip implant that records everything you see and do as some advanced camera diary is terrible! frightening! Well done episode.

A series of people die after they have been bullied on social media with the hashtag #deathto. A team of investigators quickly find out how they got killed. They were attacked by artificial bees, mini-drones. But who’s behind it all? Hated In The Nation **(*) (S3/6) is a great episode with a good twist near the end.

A neuro-scientist has opened a museum along a desolate highway focussing on his breakthrough achievements. A young girl stops to visit and learns about three particular cases, of which something is at display. They are bizarre and scary. There’s a lot of talk in this episode, but there’s room for some humor as well.  Black Museum **(*) (S4/6) is worth the watch.

Soldiers get an implant that makes them see the enemy as cockroaches. A new recruit discovers that his implant is a lie. It’s a scary theory. It makes you think about how we see others. Directed by a Flemish movie maker and quite a thrill, but not as unique as other episodes. Men Against Fire: ** (S3/5)

A young woman has a terrible time mourning over the death of her boyfriend. Until someone mentions a certain application that can recreate the deceased person digitally based on whatever the person has posted online. Be Right Back ** isn’t one of the best episodes, but captivates until the end.

In The National Anthem ** (S1/1) a prime minister is forced to have sex with a pig in front of a tv audience in order to save the life of a kidnapped royal. It’s freaky. You constantly wonder how far you would go? It’s explained why the prime minister actually considers doing it, but still, it’s a non dilemma. Weird first episode.

In Playtest ** (S3/2) a careless world traveller likes the idea of playing a new kind of videogame where you emerge into a phantasy world by yet another kind of implant. It’s classic horror. It’s scary and feels really weird. It’s too far-fetched to be uncomfortable though.

A successful woman is confronted with her past when her ex boyfriend is ready to reveal a secret. This has to be stopped and murder is an option. At the same time an investigator for an insurance company uses a special technique to record the last memories of a witness. Both will meet. And when they do it gets scary. But before they meet, it’s kind of boring. Crocodile ** (S4/3) isn’t so exciting.

In Shut Up And Dance *(*) (S3/3) an anonymous source has hacked the computer of a teenager. They filmed him jerking off. Then threaten to expose the video if he doesn’t do what they tell him to do. Along the way he encounters others that have been filmed by that network. It’s well acted and has some surprises, but ends really predictable.

A comedian doing the voice of an obnoxious cartoon in a late night tv show, starts questioning the point of it all when his producers want him to start a show on his own. Or better run for elections. It’s a good idea, but The Waldo Moment *(*) (S2/3) is too short to make a real impact.

The White Christmas * (special) is a mindfuck. It’s a series of stories that all lead to a predictable end. The whole episodes feels like a collage of previous black mirror stories. People can see through other people’s eyes, ‘cookies’ (copies) are taken out of people and placed in an alternate world, etc.. yawn.

A woman wakes up with amnesia and needs to escape certain hunters while everyone is just taking pictures of the whole event. White Bear * focuses on public shaming and the obsession of people to record everything. It’s short. Luckily.

15 Million Merits * (S1/2) is a bore. It’s very futuristic and depressing. It’s frightening to see that this could be a future we are heading to. It’s a world filled with reality tv shows and it’s disgusting.

In Metalhead (no stars) (S4/5) a woman is being hunted by some robot dog that guarded items that were stolen. It’s a mess. It’s boring.

A game developer creates a game based on a book with alternate stories. However, while creating the game, he feels like someone else is controlling his actions. In the new Bandersnatch (no stars) (special) the viewer needs to select how the story will evolve. It’s a unique concept, but it’s annoying. Watching tv with a remote control and having to do all the work? No thanks. They make you go back and revise your choice anyways. So much for being in control.

www.imdb.com/title/tt2085059/

 

Downsizing – *

Posted: August 15, 2018 in 2017, Drama, Science Fiction, USA, X

What a disappointment!

It starts off great though. The world is overpopulated and Norwegian scientists have discovered a way of shrinking people. Several people are attracted to the idea of living as ‘miniature’ people. Some do it because of their concerns about the environment. But most do it because you can afford much more luxury in the small world. Somehow, a dollar in this new world is worth the same as in the real world.

Paul can’t afford a big house in the real world and decides to ‘downsize’ with his wife. The set up is great, the process of moving from the big world to the small world is nicely detailed. But minutes after Paul has started the medical treatment to become small, his wife backs out and so he ends up alone in this miniature world. The start of a new journey in his life.

And the start of a very boring second and third part.

The movie really starts off well, but once in the miniature world the story becomes a mess. It’s sad. The intriguing thing is this relationship between people in the big world and people in the small world, but that’s all gone. In stead we learn about how life in this alternative world isn’t so much different from life in the original world (duh). A few new, unappealing characters make their entrance. One is a larger than life neighbour. The other is a one-legged housekeeper from Vietnam, who somehow is the only survivor of mini refugees, arriving in the US.  In the third part, all of these characters move to the original miniland in Norway, which has turned into some hippie cult community. It’s silly.

No. Another Matt Damon movie from 2017 that just doesn’t work.

www.imdb.com/title/tt1389072