sci-fi tagged posts

Ghost in the Shell (2017)

Director: Rupert Sanders

Writer: William Wheeler, Jamie Moss (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 an unnamed Far Eastern city 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 a double-barrelled wallop ...

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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.

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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

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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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Midnight Special

Midnight-Special-posterDirector: Jeff Nichols

Writer: Jeff Nichols

Cast: Michael Shannon, Jaeden Lieberher, Joel Edgerton, Kirsten Dunst, Adam Driver, Sam Shepard

Cert: 12

Running time: 112mins

Year: 2016




What’s the story: Eight-year-old Alton is snatched from the cult who worship him as a messiah by his father Roy. Pursued across Louisiana by cult members and the US government, Alton demonstrates otherworldly abilities.

Midnight-Special---Jaeden-Lieberher,-glowing-handMidnight-Special---Michael-Shannon,-Jaeden-Lieberher

What’s the verdict: Proof that a chase movie coupled with genuine emotion and well-drawn characters can steady even the wobbliest premise, Midnight Special is the most enjoyable film that essentially makes no sense you’ll see this year.

Writer/director Jeff Nichols, who handled the possible-supernatural with such confidence in 2011’s Take Shelter, never quite decides exactly what powe...

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10 Cloverfield Lane

10-Cloverfield-Lane---posterDirector: Dan Trachtenberg

Writer: Josh Campbell, Matthew Stuecken, Damien Chazelle

Cast: Mary Elizabeth Winstead, John Goodman, John Gallagher Jr

Cert: 12

Running time: 103mins

Year: 2016




What’s the story: Involved in a serious car accident, twenty-something Michelle awakens to find herself in a subterranean bunker with the large, imposing Howard. Sharing their space is fellow twenty-something Emmett. Howard and Emmett tell Michelle she can’t leave the bunker due to a chemical attack against the United States that has poisoned the air…

10-Cloverfield-Lane---John-Goodman,-Mary-Elizabeth-Winstead10-Cloverfield-Lane---John-Goodman,-Mary-Elizabeth-Winstead,-John-Gallagher-Jr

What’s the verdict: Back in 2008 Cloverfield emerged from nowhere to impress and shock the pants off audiences, so it’s fitting this “blood relative” (to use producer J.J. Abrams’ term) does the same.

Released with little fanfare save...

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The Martian

The-Martian---posterDirector: Ridley Scott

Writer: Drew Goddard, Andy Weir (book)

Cast: Matt Damon, Jessica Chastain, Chiwetel Ejiofor, Jeff Daniels, Kristen Wiig, Sean Bean, Michael Pena, Kate Mara, Donald Glover

Cert: 12

Running time: 141mins

Year: 2015




The lowdown: Gravity meets Castaway in Ridley Scott’s enjoyable sci-fier. Matt Damon turns his likeability up full wattage as Mark Watney, an astronaut thought dead and stranded on Mars after his team make an emergency getaway during a ferocious storm. While not shooting for the stars in the same way as Interstellar, or indeed Gravity, The Martian ultimately manages to break the gravitational pull of being ordinary.

The-Martian---Matt-Damon,-looking-at-cameraThe-Martian---Matt-Damon,-walking-on-Mars

The full verdict: “I’m gonna science the shit outta this...

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FrightFest 2015 – Shriek Sixteen!

The-NightmareFilm4 FrightFest hits not so sweet 16 years old this year. To celebrate, the festival is showcasing dozens of world, European and UK premieres, classic films, shorts and visiting talent for a scarily exciting five days of horror and fantasy cinema.

Over almost two decades, the festival has introduced mind-blowing movies to UK shores and 2015 promises to continue the proud tradition.

Opening proceedings at the Vue Cinema, Leicester Square on Thursday 27th August is Cherry Tree. A witches’ coven tale of “be careful what you wish for”, Cherry Tree also has the honour of being the first Irish movie to open FrightFest.

Closing the event on Bank Holiday Monday is Tales of Halloween...

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Star Wars: The Force Awakens Trailer Reaction

Star Wars trailer reaction - X-wing fighters

Back in 2001 a Star Wars: Episode II trailer momentarily set the still infant internet ablaze. Here was a Star Wars trailer that promised The Phantom Menace was merely a misstep. It had drama, excitement; an awareness of what made Star Wars great. It had Gabriel Byrne looking conflicted, it had a squad of Boba Fetts, it had Christopher Walken with Man Who Fell To Earth eyes.

It of course wasn’t real. That mock trailer now seems very quaint and our gullibility part ignorance of what fans were doing out there in cyberspace and part willingness to believe that the next Star Wars instalment was going to be good.

Jump thirteen years. On Friday 28th November 2014, something rather special happened...

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The Signal (2014)

The Signal 2014 - poster - Laurence FishburneDirector: William Eubank

Writer: Carlyle Eubank, William Eubank, David Figerio

Cast: Laurence Fishburne, Brenton Thwaites, Olivia Cooke, Beau Knapp

Cert: TBC

Running Time: 97 mins

Year: 2014

The lowdown: Small scale filmmaker William Eubank (Love,Crave) stretches his $4m budget to breaking point with this ambitious sci-fi flick. Boasting a hot young cast and a cold, clinical Laurence Fishburne, it’s inventive and looks the business but plays like a particularly slick episode of The Outer Limits.

The Signal - Brenton Thwaites, Olivia CookeThe Signal - Laurence Fishburne, hazmat suit

The full verdict: Not to be confused with 2007’s horror about a killer transmission, the initial set-up here is simple: three MIT students: Haley (Olivia Cooke), Jonah (Beau Knapp) and crutch-bound Nic (Brenton Thwaites) take a detour from an emotional road trip to confront a mysterious hacke...

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Transformers: Age of Extinction

Transformers - Age of Extinction - posterDirector: Michael Bay

Writer: Ehren Kruger

Cast: Mark Wahlberg, Stanley Tucci, Kelsey Grammer, Nicola Peltz, Jack Reynor, Titus Welliver

Cert: 12A

Running Time: 165mins

Year: 2014

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The lowdown: Michael Bay and his metal minions return to give eardrums and brain cells another battering in the fourth instalment of the action figure-inspired ode to excess. A haemorrhoid-busting running time boasts extra-terrestrial bounty hunters, fire-breathing Dinobots, photorealistic Autobots, an enthusiastically ineffectual Mark Wahlberg and pretty, pouty Nicole Peltz. There should be something for everyone but with any spark of humanity extinguished this is an empty, mean-spirited mess, fit only for the scrap heap.

Transformers - Age of Extinction - Dinobot, Optimus PrimeTRANSFORMERS: AGE OF EXTINCTION

The verdict: 65 million years ago, alien ‘Creators’ arrived on earth, annihilating most i...

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