The blog of a Sci-Fi Geek

Sat 5 June , 10

Spoon

Filed under: Film, Internet — Tags: , , , , — SFG @ 14:24

If you’ve seen the film District 9 you may be familiar with Sharlto Copley who played Wikus in that film (he’s also playing ‘Mad’ Murdock in the upcoming A-Team film).
Well, apparently before he took up acting in films he was directing films.
A long gestating project of his is a film called Spoon. According to IMDB, Spoon is “A thriller with supernatural overtones about a man with a medical condition that causes him to black out during moments of extreme stress and leads him to make a remarkable discovery about himself.”.

Starring Darren Boyd (The Green Wing & Magicians) as the titular character Darren Spoon it also features Rutger Hauer as his father Victor Spoon.

Linked below is a short teaser trailer to announce the project.
The main feeling I get from this is a Videodrome sort of film, possibly with a bit of Scanners thrown in.
There’s really not much to go on but it looks like an interesting project. The official ‘site for the film SpoonTheMovie.com is sparse of material at the moment but I guess it’s only a matter of time before something is done with it (at least I hope so).

Looking around the ‘net for any more information relating to this project I happened across a very detailed blog concerning the whole production process of the film. I haven’t read nearly all of the entries yet (there’s a lot of ’em) but what I have read has been very insightful.
Take a look for yourself over at indefilmlive.blogspot.com and see what you think.

Anyway, the teaser for the film is here, you’ll need to scroll a little down the page to get to it.

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Wed 26 May , 10

Science Fiction Rules

Filed under: Geek, Internet — Tags: , , , , , — SFG @ 07:59

That is, the rules of science fiction.

In a totally shameless theft, I stole the majority of this entry from Fearsome Pirate over at metalutheran.blogspot.com but please don’t hold that against me, as I’ve added a few extra links and text to try and make my offering a little more educational and relevant to myself. (8+)

I am frequently insulted by the stupidity of Hollywood but I totally understand that what it does it does in the name of ‘entertainment’, as such I can (more or less) forgive such inaccuries as those listed below.

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Sun 23 May , 10

Robin Hood … In Space

Filed under: Internet, TV — Tags: , , , — SFG @ 16:00

I recently came across a very timely article by Dean Newman comparing Blake’s 7 to Robin Hood.
Some of the points he makes are wonderful observations.

As some of my more regular readers will know, Blake’s 7 is my favourite science fiction TV show. It has been since pretty much the first time I saw it during it’s original broadcast in the UK.
This hasn’t ever changed despite the numerous new and remake shows that have hit our screens in the intervening years.

Anyway, here’s the article.
I hope you enjoy it as much as I did.

Thu 20 May , 10

TRON Legacy

Filed under: Film — Tags: , , , — SFG @ 17:54

So I’ve known about this for some time, but with the release date being so far off I haven’t really felt the need to post about it.
That being said, more and more news appears to be hitting the ‘net about it and so I thought it was time to mention it myself.
I’ve tried to stay away from specific plot/story spoilers, but I haven’t really been able to miss the images that have been doing the rounds.
I know that Jeff Bridges is in it, as well as Bruce Boxleitner, both of whom reprise their roles from the original film.
If the film turns out as well as the images below promise then it’ll be excellent.

I’ve made my feelings known regarding 3D cinema recently and I am a little disheartened to hear that TRON will be a 3D release but hopefully it’ll be being filmed that way and not have to go through some sort of 3D-ification (like Alice in Wonderland did) which should help with its realisation.

Anyway, images after the jump.

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Mon 17 May , 10

Pumzi

Filed under: Film — Tags: , , , — SFG @ 17:50

Pumzi, allegedly Kenya’s first science fiction film, imagines a dystopian future 35 years after water wars have torn the world apart. East African survivors of the ecological devastation remain locked away in contained communities, but a young woman in possession of a germinating seed struggles against the governing council to bring the plant to Earth’s ruined surface.
I’d love to see this in the cinema but there’s fat chance of that ever happening.

Sat 17 April , 10

What’s in a Name?

Quite a lot it would seem.

In 1991 Mitch Rubenstein, Laurie Silvers and Isaac Asimov pitched an idea to a room full of SF writers at the Science Fiction Writers of America annual meeting.
The idea was a simple one; a 24-hour cable TV network dedicated to science fiction. The channel would be called Sci Fi Channel.
The idea apparently didn’t go down too well, with some of the writers in the room arguing that the term “Sci Fi” is derogatory to the SF genre. It was pointed out to the room that if the channel was called SF Channel people would think it was a channel about San Francisco.
Mitch Rubenstein was booed off-stage.
Isaac Asimov then started to speak and explained that the channel had to be called Sci Fi in order to “be in a financial position to acquire and produce the best programming. That’s really what counts, right?”.
Isaac spoke, and the room full of writers agreed.

Fast forward to now and we have a name change from ‘Sci Fi’ so SyFy.
What the what?!?
Yes, the Sci Fi Channel is no more, to be replaced with a new name that apparently makes no sense to anyone (well, apart from perhaps some misguided few from within Sci F… sorry, SyFy).

The new name (say it out loud) is phonetically identical to the old name, so why the change? Well, apparently it “positions the brand for future growth by creating an ownable trademark that can travel easily with consumers across new media and nonlinear digital platforms, new international channels and extend into new business ventures.“.

I think the key phrase in the above is “Creating an ownable trademark”, but that’s just the cynic in me.
Personally I don’t like the name change. It’s almost as if the channel is now wanting to distance itself from that which made it so popular in the first place.
I’ve come to refer to the channel as *sigh*fi.

Sources for this post :
Sci Fi Channel
Slice of SciFi
Hollywood Reporter
Hollywood.com

Wed 13 January , 10

Avatar 3D [REVIEW]

Filed under: Film, Film review — Tags: , , , , , , , , , — SFG @ 00:36

Okay, let’s make this clear at the start, Avatar is not a great film.
It is not a film that will surprise you and offer you things you have never seen before. You do not get sucked in to a world of new colours, dimensions and landscapes, what you do get is the same old familiar fantasy stuff just presented a little differently. And that’s the driving force of this film, not what you see but how you see it.
James Cameron is on very familiar ground with many of the story elements  of this film, but it’s the technical advances that seems to be getting all the column inches and blog postings, probably because the story’s so familiar.

It takes great skill in creating a totally believable world in cinema, and at this Cameron excels.
In the years he was waiting for the technology to mature enough to start filming he obviously poured over every aspect of the world of Pandora, and it certainly shows on screen. It’s a lush and very detailed world with a well thought out and realised methodology and ancestry that it could’ve been lifted straight from a documentary of indigenous peoples. Pandora is fully realised and totally believable, at least in concept if not execution. This is where the film started to fall down for me; the CG realisation.

The very first time we see Sam Worthington’s character (Jake Sully) in avatar form, it looks so fake. The whole scene needs proper attention to the blending process to integrate the CG with the live action, because it just looks cheap and well below par for any big budget film these days. The whole sequence is very unnatural in it’s movement and the cartoon skin doesn’t help in the least. This scene isn’t the only one that actually takes you (or me) out of the film and draws your attention to the artifice of the medium, but as it’s the first scene that does it in a very easily recognisable sense then it deserves mention for that. Cameron should look to District 9 as a lesson in how to blend CG and live action seamlessly.
Once emerged in the world of Pandora the CG becomes much more believable but there’s something about the way things move, it’s very unnatural in it’s execution. Again, this takes the viewer out of the film and draws attention away from verisimilitude.

The script is typical Cameron fare. Don’t go expecting anything approaching complex dialogue, because that’s not what he does. What he does do is create spectacle, and in this he certainly hasn’t failed, though some aspects need a little work Avatar is by no means a bad film, but by the same token it’s not great either, and this is where I came in.

So, is 3D going to be the saviour of the film industry? Based on this film I’d have to say “nope”.
While it undeniably adds depth to the image there’s a few problems I have with it (even though it is still very much an emerging technology).
The glasses were a major problem for me. Not being a person that requires any kind of correctional eye facility I found wearing the glasses a distraction. Not only could I constantly feel the pressure of the arms against my head I found the rims of the glasses a constant distraction. The CG movement I’ve already gone in to so I won’t rehash but as a gimmick I can see 3D catching on in a small way, but I certainly don’t think I’ll be going to watch another 3D film at the pictures again any time soon.

Sat 2 January , 10

The Films of 2009

Filed under: 1051 — Tags: , , , — SFG @ 17:36

For those not familiar with the concept, I keep track of all the films I watch (I’ve been doing this since 2006) on a monthly basis over the course of the year, just so I can post the list up on my blog at the end of December. Due to personal circumstances I’m a little late with the post.

After starting to give the films ratings in 2008 I carried on this tradition in ’09 but life events got in the way and due to my mood in the second half of the year I decided to not rate those films, because I’d probably be under rating the films, and I didn’t want to unfairly judge films that I more than likely enjoyed. So the first half of the hear has ratings, the second doesn’t.

Highlights of the past year include Watchmen, In Bruges, The Three Burials of Melquiades Estrada.
Lowlights included Southland Tales and Star Trek
Special mention goes to Mega Shark Vs Giant Octopus and Where the Wild Things Are.

June and July have been lumped together because I totally lost track of when one month ended and when the other started, so there’s no solid line I can draw between those two months.

I said last year that I’d like to watch more sci-fi pictures as well as see more films at the pictures. I think both those two comments can be rolled over to 2010 though I don’t think I’ll have the money to see more at the pictures, but I’d certainly like to see more science fiction films this year than I did in previous years.

Follow the link below to get to the film listings for 2008.
Happy New Year to all my readers.

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Sun 15 November , 09

Avatar

Filed under: 1051 — Tags: , , , , , , , — SFG @ 15:59

This article prompted my thoughts on this film.

It’s one of those occasions where you have to assess what you want to do beforehand.
Do you want to believe the hype and go and see it on that basis.
Do you want to go and see another James Cameron film, where the acting is okay at best, the effects and world realisation are second-to-none and the script is bilge.
Do you want to go and see a saccharine love story, the likes of which you’ve already seen hundreds of times anyway.
Do you want to go and see the most expensive film ever made just so you can, many years from now, say that you saw the film in the cinema.
Do you want to go and see a film that could quite possibly sink a major Hollywood studio.
Do you want to go and see a film that could, quite possibly just blow your mind.

I’m sure there’s also other reasons you may want to go and see it for as well.

I’ve tried to avoid all of the marketing hype surrounding this film.
I caught a very early teaser trailer for it, and I’ve seen nothing else of it. This article was the first one I’d read about the film for years, and I’ll likely not read any more until the film comes out.
I’ll probably go to the pictures and see the film, but not in it’s opening week, as the marketing buzz will be driving hordes of people to go and see it during that time.

I have no expectations of this film but I’ll post back with my views once I’ve seen it.

Fri 2 October , 09

Q

Filed under: 1051 — Tags: , , — SFG @ 07:55

Judges have overturned a legal ban on science fiction fans naming their son ‘Q’ after their favourite Star Trek character.

John De Lancie as Q in Star Trek : TNG

John De Lancie as Q in Star Trek : TNG

The parents, from Jamtland, Sweden, appealed to the Swedish Supreme Court after two previous hearings upheld a court order saying the name could cause the boy “mental anguish”.
Appeal judges have now lifted the ban saying there was no proof the boy – now nearly one year old – would suffer because of the name.
Dad Rickard Rehnberg said: “He’s been called Q almost since day one. He listens to the name and can actually say his own name.
“He is a unique child and we thought he should have a unique name.”

Original story : Ananova

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