sci-fi tagged posts

The Cloverfield Paradox

Director: Julius Onah

Writer: Oren Uziel (screenplay), Oren Uziel, Doug Jung (story)

Cast: Gugu Mbatha-Raw, Daniel Brühl, Elizabeth Debicki, Aksel Hennie, Chris O’Dowd, David Oyelowo, Zhang Ziyi, Roger Davies

Cert: 15

Running time: 102mins

Year: 2018 


What’s the story: Astronauts aboard space station Cloverfield discover reality is lethally twisted after they successfully complete a particle accelerator experiment designed to solve a global energy crisis.

What’s the verdict: Cloverfield is about everyday life jolted by a seismic event. Fitting then that home entertainment giant Netflix surprise released this third instalment in producer J.J. Abrams’ anthology franchise.

Unsurprisingly, expectations were high...

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The 10 Best Films of 2017

Another year, another 10 movies that define why we love cinema. 2017 was such a strong year for film releases that many excellent movies failed to make our Top 10.

Honorary shout-outs then to such must-sees as Wind River, IT, Mother!, Una, A Silent Voice and Wonder Woman. Great movies all, all pipped to the post by the titles below.

Whatever brow-furrowing misbehaviour 2018 brings, one sliver of good news is that cinema should remain in fine shape. From what we saw at the London Film Festival in October, at least three five-star movies will be released next year.

But, without further ado, here is Electric Shadows’ 10 Best Films of 2017…

  1. Brawl in Cell Block 99

Writer/director S...

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Blade Runner, Orient Express, Thor Ragnarok – The Electric Shadows Podcast

Episode 32 of The Electric Shadows Podcast is a bumper round-up. Rob Daniel & Rob Wallis take a belated look at Blade Runner 2049, deduce what they think of Murder on the Orient Express and it’s hammer time with Thor: Ragnarok.

There’s even space for a quick review of William Friedkin’s Sorcerer and George Clooney’s Suburbicon.

To check out Rob Wallis’ movie writings, head over to

Twitter: rob_a_daniel

iTunes Podcast: The Electric Shadows Podcast

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Imitation Girl

Director: Natasha Kermani

Writer: Natasha Kerman

Cast: Lauren Ashley Carter, Neimah Djourabchi, Sanam Erfani, Catherine Mary Stewart, Adam David Thompson, Lewis Black

Cert: 15 (tbc)

Running time: 84mins

Year: 2017

What’s the story: In New Mexico, an alien being falls to earth and adopts the form of young New York porn actress, Julianna Fox. Taken in by an Iranian man and his sister, the alien begins assimilating with humankind. In New York, Julianna is having greater difficulty doing the same.

What’s the verdict: Natasha Kermani’s Imitation Girl is one 2017’s real discoveries. As exciting as fellow Iranian-American filmmaker Ana Lily Amirpour’s A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night was when it wowed audiences in 2014.

A mumblecore take on The Man Who Fell to Earth and Under the ...

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Alien: Covenant

Director: Ridley Scott

Writer: John Logan, Dante Harper (screenplay) Jack Paglen, Michael Green (story)

Cast: Michael Fassbender, Katherine Waterston, Billy Crudup, Danny McBride, Guy Pearce

Cert: 15

Running time: 122mins

Year: 2017


What’s the story: Crew members of a space vessel carrying colonists to a new world investigate a mysterious transmission emanating from an uncharted planet. The reception they receive is not friendly.

What’s the verdict: A long time since we’ve been loving the alien. But, Ridley Scott’s 1979 original and James Cameron’s 1986 sequel are sci-fi masterpieces, so hope remains the next Alien movie will facehug your affections.

2012’s Prometheus saw Scott back and calling the shots. The result was an incoherent mess...

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Shell-Praiser: A Defense of Ghost in the Shell


(Spoiler warning: key plot points from Ghost in the Shell 2017 revealed in this feature)

Mired in whitewashing accusations since 2015 when Scarlett Johansson was announced in the lead. Subject of sustained online fan fury. Mediocre US box office Paramount Studios acknowledged was partly due to this controversy.

Is now a good time to admit I’m a fan of this incarnation of Ghost in the Shell? A reason for this being because of how it addresses its own casting and the surrounding debate? Please give me time to outline the case for the defence.

From Masamune Shirow’s 1989 manga, to Mamoru Oshii’s 1995 anime, its 2004 sequel Innocence, the Solid State Society and Arise spin-offs, Ghost in the Shell is constantly evolving and reworking its themes.

Themes of identity flu...

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Ghost in the Shell – The Electric Shadows Podcast

Episode 21 of The Electric Shadows Podcast sees Rob Daniel & Rob Wallis tackling the controversial live action remake of Ghost in the Shell. The two review the film’s merits and flaws, before discussing the whitewashing scandal surrounding the film and the way it is addressed within the plot. Could this be the first podcast in which our intrepid podcasters significantly disagree?  You’ll have to listen on… although you can skip to 1:01:30 to hear our (differing) opinions on the controversy this film has attracted.

To check out Rob Wallis’ movie writings, head over to

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Ghost in the Shell (2017)

Director: Rupert Sanders

Writers: William Wheeler, Jamie Moss, Ehren Kruger (screenplay), Masamune Shirow (manga), Kazunori Ito (1995 movie)

Cast: Scarlett Johansson, Pilou Asbæk, Takeshi Kitano, Juliette Binoche, Chin Han, Peter Ferdinando, Danusia Samal, Michael Pitt, Rila Fukashima

Cert: 12

Running time: 107 mins

Year: 2017

What’s the story: In New Port City, a Far Eastern metropolis of the future, Major (Johansson), a human brain planted into a cyborg shell after a terrorist attack, is a front-line soldier in the city’s counter terrorism unit. A cyberhacker killing high ranking personnel at technology company Hanka is her greatest threat to date.

What’s the verdict: Mamoru Oshii’s 1995 anime Ghost in the Shell, based on Masamune Shirow’s manga, hit Hollywood influencers with...

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Rogue One

rogue-one-posterDirector: Gareth Edwards

Writer: Chris Weitz, Tony Gilroy (screenplay), John Knoll, Gary Whitta (story), George Lucas (characters)

Cast: Felicity Jones, Diego Luna, Ben Mendelsohn, Donnie Yen, Alan Tudyk, Wen Jiang, Forest Whitaker, Riz Ahmed, Mads Mikkelsen

Cert: 12

Running time: 134mins

Year: 2016

What’s the story: The Galactic Empire has created a terrifying new weapon, the Death Star, which is nearing full planet-killing power. Jyn Erso (Jones), street thief and cynical daughter of the weapon’s chief architect (Mikkelsen), must team up with a ragtag group of freedom fighters and mercenaries to steal plans to the Death Star and deliver them to the Rebel Alliance.


What’s the verdict: Despite being a Star Wars movie, Rogue One has a feeling of difficult second album-itis...

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The Best Films of the 2016 BFI London Film Festival


Another BFI London Film Festival belongs to the ages. And this 60th anniversary festival was done proud by some of the best cinema you will see this year (or next dependent upon UK release patterns).

Below is Electric Shadows’ Top 10 of this year’s LFF. Please note that in Brexit Britain immune systems seem to have fallen as low as the pound. With a heavy cold racking this gutsy scribe’s constitution, part days and bed rest replaced full film indulgence. This meant Personal Shopper, Certain Women (the LFF’s Best Film winner), The Birth of a Nation, Dog Eat Dog and Ethel and Ernest were all missed in favour of Lemsip and blankets.

All the above movies seem like Top 10 contenders.

Press screening scheduling clashes meant Elle was chosen over Manchester By the Sea and Your Name over ...

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