Category Archives: Science Fiction

The Maze Runner Movie Review

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Film adaptations of popular young adult novels have become particularly popular in the past few years. Ever since the booming success of the final installments of the Harry Potter film series, Hollywood execs have realized that there is a goldmine to be reaped in this market. The problem with this mentality, like with most Hollywood cash grabs, is that the quality of these films is usually very lacking, and the adaptations don’t do any justice to the original material. Once in awhile, there’s an exceptional series such as The Hunger Games which raises the bar for the other installments in the genre, but these films are few and far between. This weekend, a new YA novel adaptation called The Maze Runner is hitting theaters, and it’s a surprisingly enjoyable film. Continue reading The Maze Runner Movie Review

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Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Movie Review

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A few weeks ago, I reviewed Transformers: Age of Extinction, which I gave a rather low score to. Most of my friends who read the review said that they understood where I was coming from and that they agreed with my critiques, but some people thought that it was ridiculous for me to even bother criticizing such a ridiculous film. I think that I can understand what they’re saying; why should I even bother reviewing a film that is nothing but an obvious cash grab? Upon watching the movie, it’s quite obvious that even Michael Bay himself didn’t care about the quality of the film; it’s just another sequel to a disappointing franchise that somehow rakes in boatloads of cash. Why would I even bother complaining about such a movie? Well, in my mind, that’s exactly what a movie critic does: review all films, both good and bad, and give them their day in court. To give a pass to a movie like Age of Extinction just because it’s self-aware wouldn’t be fair to masterpieces of the action sci-fi genre such as Empire Strikes Back or The Avengers. If those films represent the heights that a film like Transformers can reach, then of course I have to give Age of Extinction an awful rating. Reviewing bad films is just part of the job, and it’s something that I have to do right now with the new Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles movie. Continue reading Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Movie Review

Guardians of the Galaxy Movie Review

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Movies that don’t take themselves too seriously are usually given a pass on a lot of the crimes that they commit. Comedies like Airplane! and the Monty Python films aren’t supposed to be analyzed for their plot as much as they are to be enjoyed for their simplicity. But what about sci-fi movies that have frequent humor, like this weekends’ new Guardians of the Galaxy? This film feels like a combination of Galaxy Quest and J.J. Abrams’ Star Trek, and it’s one of the most fun sci-fi adventures that I’ve seen in awhile. Continue reading Guardians of the Galaxy Movie Review

Lucy Movie Review

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Many people thought that Lucy was going to be a direct rip-off of Limitless, another film that involves the concept of unlocking the secrets of the mind. I haven’t seen Limitless, but from what I understand about it, Lucy takes quite a different direction. Whenever I hear arguments about a movie “ripping off” an earlier film, I notice that the people speaking about the similarities between the two flicks don’t understand the purpose and message of each individual work. There are only a few cases in which I find these arguments valid, and even then there are places where they fall through. With that in mind, let’s evaluate Lucy. Continue reading Lucy Movie Review

Snowpiercer Movie Review

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Science Fiction is by far and large my favorite movie genre. I love films that take the issues of our time and put them in a different setting than what we know, showing how these themes would apply to a different world. You could make the argument that the most enjoyable sci-fi films are action-adventures such as Star Wars or The Avengers that keep our adrenaline pumping through the entire running time. Other types of sci-fi films, a kind that I have only dug into within the past few years, are the kinds of films that take human stories and place them in a sci-fi environment. Movies such as Blade Runner, 2001: A Space Odyssey, and Moon certainly make us use our brains much more than films such as Total Recall. Despite the undeniable high quality of these films, they aren’t always exciting to watch, as their slow pace can make distraction-prone viewers fidget in their seats. Director Bong Joon-ho’s latest film Snowpiercer, starring Chris Evans, is a combination of both the action-packed and dramatic styles of sci-fi, and I’d be lying if I said that I didn’t think that it’s the greatest film that I’ve seen all year. Continue reading Snowpiercer Movie Review

Dawn of the Planet of the Apes Movie Review

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I feel that most filmgoers agree that rebooting franchises is one of the most nauseating trends in modern cinema. Reboots usually contain weak plots, bank on the special effects used in the film to sell tickets, and never live up to the original work. I have yet to meet anyone who claims that they prefer the recent Robocop or Total Recall movies to the originals. Because of this, many people were naturally skeptical when Rise of the Planet of the Apes was released in summer 2011. It didn’t help that an attempt to reimagine this franchise had already failed with Planet of the Apes in 2001, one of director Tim Burton’s few disappointments. Rise, however, was met with both critical and commercial success, so naturally, a sequel was in order. Now we are treated to Dawn of the Planet of the Apes, which is a sequel to the franchise reboot. The movie also has a new director, Matt Reeves, who has replaced Rise of the Planet of the Apes director Rupert Wyatt. You can clearly see why I was worried when this film was announced. Continue reading Dawn of the Planet of the Apes Movie Review

Earth to Echo Movie Review

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I’m really dreading one day having kids because of all of the children’s movies that we’ll have to go to. I’m sure that all of the other joys of parenting are very rewarding, but I doubt that many people have said that they really enjoyed their children dragging them into the cinema to see Cars 2 or The Lorax. There is also a plethora of excellent family films, some of which have been released this summer, but the kids never check the reviews before going into the theater. And the worst part is that, no matter what, you’re going to have to pretend that you liked the movie. You don’t want to look your kid in the eye and tell them about the bad acting and immature humor that you pray they won’t appreciate for much longer. At best, they won’t understand your complaints, and at worst, you’ll break their heart. I’m sure that many parents are fearing that they might experience this frustration this weekend as they are being pulled into Earth to Echo. Continue reading Earth to Echo Movie Review

Pacific Rim Movie Review

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About a year and a half ago, I saw an ad for Pacific Rim, a new film coming out that, at first glance, looked like an attempt to cash in on the financial success of the Transformers series. However, when I found out that acclaimed director Guillermo Del Toro was at the helm of the project, my expectations rose significantly. I’m a fan of both Pan’s Labyrinth and the Hellboy movies, so I figured that Del Toro would be able to pull through with Pacific Rim, as well. So was this 2+ hour kaiju-rama worth the $15 I paid to see it in 3D? Continue reading Pacific Rim Movie Review

Aliens Movie Review

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Those of you who know me well probably figured that it was only a matter of time before I reviewed this movie. Before summer 2012, I wasn’t even aware that there was a movie called “Aliens”. I just assumed that every single sci-fi sequel that wasn’t part of a pre-determined trilogy was just a cheap way to cash in on the success of a legendary movie, especially in the case of films with different writers and directors than the original. When I heard that Alien had a sequel, I assumed that it must have been no better than movies such as The Fly II or Die Hard 2. However, when I googled the movie, I found out that it received great critical acclaim upon its release, and that some fans even prefer it over the original. How could it be that this sequel, released seven years after the original film, could follow a movie that many consider to be the greatest sci-fi horror film ever made? Continue reading Aliens Movie Review

Transformers: Age of Extinction Movie Review

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When Transformers: Age of Extinction was announced, the reaction of the public was quite mixed. There were many people who were excited to see another Michael Bay-directed action flick, full of great special effects, explosions, and cool cars. Others rolled their eyes at the trailers, believing that this would be nothing but another summer cash grab with a thin plot and few redeeming qualities. The past three Transformers movies have proven that the franchise can pull in huge profits even in the face of scathing reviews, and I have no doubt in my mind that Age of Extinction will rake in mounds of cash, as well. Is this new movie worthy of these sales, or is it just more fuel for the hatred that Bay has received throughout his career? Continue reading Transformers: Age of Extinction Movie Review