sci-fi tagged posts

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


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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

SPIRITED REIMAGINING

(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 www.ofallthefilmsites.com

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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.

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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.

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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…

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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.

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

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