The blog of a Sci-Fi Geek

Thu 24 May , 07


Filed under: Film review — SFG @ 18:56

Next is the eighth film to have come from the works of author Philip K. Dick and like most of the other film adaptations of this writer Next falls short of the mark.

Next is about a man who can see into the future. Not far into the future, and into nobody else’s future apart from his own, apart from when it concerns a mysterious woman that he’s not yet met.

Much like every other Dick adaptation a lot had to be excised from the book in order to make a coherent film experience.
The Golden Man – which is the book this film is adapted from – is about a post-apocalyptic precognitive gold-skinned mutant with supernatural seductive powers (and no frontal lobe, hence no power of language) who is running around impregnating women with golden mutant babies. Humanity’s mistakes may have doomed it to be crowded off the Earth by feral supermen. Next, on the other hand, features Nicolas Cage as a precog Vegas magician being chased by the FBI to make him track down a nuclear bomb.

The director (Lee Tamahori) pushes things along with an energy that’s hard to fault, but I wasn’t entirely happy with other elements of the film.
Julianne Moore, who is usually a very reliable actress performs very sub par in this film. I also found the music a little overbearing in places too.

Nick Cage (and I know there’s people reading this that don’t like this actor) was very watchable, particularly in a scene where he was running through different outcomes to variable actions performed by his character.

For me it was Nick Cage that made this film watchable, if you don’t like him then you won’t like this film, but then again, if you don’t like him then why would you want to see a film where he has the lead role anyway.

So yeah, an okay film, but certainly no Blade Runner.
I’m still hoping that someday PKD’s stories start to become amazing films.


Sat 12 May , 07

50 Most Influential Visual Effects Films of All Time

Filed under: Film — SFG @ 17:21

Eric Roth, Executive Director of the Visual Effects Society (VES), announced on the 10th of May the results of the VES 50: The Most Influential Visual Effects Films of All Time, which was determined by a vote of VES members.
These films have had a significant, lasting impact on the practice and appreciation of visual effects as an integral, artistic element of cinematic expression and the storytelling process,” said Roth.

Coming in at numero uno was Star Wars, with Blade Runner, 2001, The Matrix and Jurassic Park rounding out the top 5 (2001 and The Matrix actually tied on votes).

If you’d like to see the remainder of the top 50 listings you can click this .pdf link.

Whilst I’m not totally surprised of the popularity of Star Wars winning out, I can’t help but smile at the timing of this survey coming out now, especially considering the recent SFX Magazine poll which had Serenity at the top of the pile.

Thu 10 May , 07

[Review] Spider-Man 3

Filed under: Film review — SFG @ 17:35

If I really have to provide a rating I guess two not so happy smileys would be okay.

I just don’t get the need for this film (aside from the wonga).
Sequels are funny things, they either take the best of what came before and improve upon it, expanding themes, characters, relationships and expanding the overall story or they can take everything that was wrong/didn’t really work in the preceeding films and try and make amends and right what once went wrong.

Putting aside the whole comic mythology of Venom and how that was just swept aside for this film. Not really wanting to go into how this film is so reliant on inconceivable coincidences between all the main characters in this film either knowing each other or just being in the right place at the right time. Not wanting to really dwell upon the fact that Spider-Man should be about Spider-Man/Peter Parker, not the lives and times of his friends (or otherwise). Wanting to completly gloss over the soap opera elements of the story, and the lack of proper character motivation coupled with the fact that a 4th or 5th level character in the film comes out with a little bit of information that carries such import that you have to wonder why this didn’t surface in the first or even second film …

This film is just stupid.

Okay, so I see some of you getting ready to bash out the words “summer action film littered with special effects” on your keyboards I’d ask you to pause for a second and consider this … if I wanted mindless CGI action sequences I’d go out and buy a games console (and probably get the spidey game as a free throw-in), but even summer action flicks need a coherent story with likable characters – that’s the reason why Spidey has been about for over 40 years! This film just doesn’t have those elements to it – and that makes me sad to say of a Sam Raimi film.

So, on to the actual special effects. It was the only hope I had for this film, that it had actually improved on the effects of the previous 2 Spider-Man films. I was mistaken.
Granted, The Sandman was quite impressive, but the sequences in which Spidey is leaping from building to building are as obvious in their CGI creations as they were in the previous films. Yes, the technical ability is there, after all, it’s the most expensive film ever made, so technical ability shouldn’t be a problem to come by, but the effects in all Spider-Man films have fallen short of the mark.

So that’s it, my slightly overdue review of Spider-Man 3. For those of you that like it, then I hope they do make a Spidey 4 and that it lives up to all your expectations. Having seen all three films at the pictures though, unless something dramatic happens in the intervening years between now and any further sequel, I’ll be staying at home

Tue 8 May , 07

New ‘phone

Filed under: Personal — SFG @ 14:29

My new 'phone

Well, I’ve finally gone and done it. After months of saying that I wanted one I’ve bought myself a new mobile ‘phone and changed my tariff at the same time.

My now old ‘phone – a Nokia 8910 – has served me well for over three years, but a little carelessness on my part over the recent months has meant that it started to fall apart a little and the keys were becoming sporadically unresponsive.

So I bit the bullet and upgraded to another Nokia – all my mobile ‘phones have been made by Nokia, and I bought an 8800 Sirocco, black naturally.

It’s a really nice ‘phone, and the first personal mobile I’ve had with a camera in it (I really don’t think I’ll be using the camera that much to be honest and I wouldn’t have minded there being no camera at all, but you try getting a new, good looking mobile today without a camera being shoe-horned into the enclosure).

The only downside is all the ringtones and message alert tones are crap. I mean really crap. Not even remotely usable. So I’m on the prowl for a good tone. I could use an AAC file if I wanted to, but I really like the Low ring tone from my previous Nokias so I think I’ll try and find that to start with.

Sat 5 May , 07

‘Net premier for new science fiction film

Filed under: Film, Internet — SFG @ 06:46

YouTube is launching a new animated science fiction show. The interesting part of this event is that YouTube is using the show, Afterworld, to test their marketing abilities.

“with ambitions of tapping the Internet video advertising market, the producers of Afterworld will also provide Google-owned YouTube with its first real chance to demonstrate its revenue generating potential—just as the site gears up to roll out video commercials this summer.” Says Red Herring

“This will be one of the early tests to see if they can scale the advertising to these kinds of audiences,” said Gartner analyst Mike McGuire.

The curious bit for me though – aside from the fact that this is a rather ambitious project in itself, even before the use of the ‘net as the medium to premier this show – is the following :
“the Gang at Electric Farm have hung on to Internet distribution rights in the U.S.”
Does that mean that anyone outside the U.S. won’t actually be able to see this film on the ‘net? I haven’t been able to dig up any more information so I guess we’ll just have to wait and see, but it wouldn’t come as any sort of shock to me if we couldn’t. *sigh*

Fri 4 May , 07

Top 25 of the last 25

Filed under: Film — SFG @ 12:57

Entertainment Weekly has created a top 25 rundown of what it considers the best in the genre across film and TV, from over the past 25 years.
I’ve reproduced the list for you below, with each entry linking to the write-up that EW has created for each entry.

25, V: THE MINISERIES (1983)
24, GALAXY QUEST (1999)
23, DOCTOR WHO (1963–Present)
22, QUANTUM LEAP (1989–1993)
21, FUTURAMA (1999–2003)
20, STAR WARS: CLONE WARS (2003–2005)
18, HEROES (2006–Present)
16, TOTAL RECALL (1990)
15, FIREFLY/SERENITY (2002/2005)
14, CHILDREN OF MEN (2006)
11, LOST (2004–Present)
10, THE THING (1982)
09, ALIENS (1986)
07, E.T. (1982)
06, BRAZIL (1985)
04, THE X-FILES (1993–2002)
03, BLADE RUNNER (1982)
01, THE MATRIX (1999)

Now, I have a problem with Starship Troopers being in a list of the top 25 best Sci-Fi, simply because it’s total utter tripe. I also have a bit of a problem with the X-Files being in the list too. Granted, it had sci-fi elements to it, but overall I simply don’t see that show as being a science fiction show, but hey, I know I’m fighting a losing battle with that, so I’ll let it be. Oh, and for your information, I class Aliens as a horror film. It just happens to be set in space. *shrug*

Oh, and I’ve seen all of these apart from Children of Men, which I plan on rectifying soon.

Star Wars day

Filed under: Geek, Personal — SFG @ 07:57

I’d just like to take this opportunity to wish all my readers a very happy Star Wars day.

The 4th will be with you, always.

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