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Smart Sci-Fi
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Author:  caryc [ Fri Aug 03, 2018 8:31 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Smart Sci-Fi

Chris Knight wrote:
But, hey, at least there's more godzilla in it than the US movie from a few years ago, where he barely has a cameo...at the end.


I'm with you on the plot for the anime. The idea is absolutely nuts.

The U.S. movie was not the greatest but at least it was better than the Matthew Broderick one. That said, if you want to see a smart Godzilla film, you need to see Shin-Godzilla. It's fantastic and I'm seriously bummed that they've decided not to make a sequel. Instead, Toho is going to attempt some shared universe bullshit when they should just move forward from the end of that movie.

Author:  caryc [ Fri Aug 03, 2018 8:31 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Smart Sci-Fi

Chris Knight wrote:
But, hey, at least there's more godzilla in it than the US movie from a few years ago, where he barely has a cameo...at the end.


I'm with you on the plot for the anime. The idea is absolutely nuts.

The U.S. movie was not the greatest but at least it was better than the Matthew Broderick one. That said, if you want to see a smart Godzilla film, you need to see Shin-Godzilla. It's fantastic and I'm seriously bummed that they've decided not to make a sequel. Instead, Toho is going to attempt some shared universe bullshit when they should just move forward from the end of that movie.

Author:  Chris Knight [ Fri Aug 03, 2018 8:36 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Smart Sci-Fi

Shin-Godzilla is bonkers as well, but that's because it's made by the dude that wrote Neon Genesis (also Gunbuster, btw, which I referenced earlier in this thread). And to bring it full circle, Godzilla vs. King Ghidorah is one of my favourite Godzilla movies, AND features time travel/wormhole stuff. So, Godzilla is the Kevin Bacon of smart scifi.

Author:  Chris Knight [ Fri Aug 03, 2018 8:44 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Smart Sci-Fi

caryc wrote:
The U.S. movie was not the greatest but at least it was better than the Matthew Broderick one.

I disagree. The Emmerich version, despite being a terrible movie, has a better setup, and better action sequences in New York. The newer one is just a propaganda movie for US military (much like Battle L.A. and Battleship, which all feature a diverse set of army guys vs. aggressors that are non-political).

Author:  caryc [ Fri Aug 03, 2018 10:02 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Smart Sci-Fi

Chris Knight wrote:
Shin-Godzilla is bonkers as well, but that's because it's made by the dude that wrote Neon Genesis (also Gunbuster, btw, which I referenced earlier in this thread). And to bring it full circle, Godzilla vs. King Ghidorah is one of my favourite Godzilla movies, AND features time travel/wormhole stuff. So, Godzilla is the Kevin Bacon of smart scifi.


I also love Godzilla vs. King Ghidorah. I'm very excited about Godzilla 2: King of Monsters. The fact that it's being made by someone who knows and loves the original movies gives me a lot of hope that it will be good.

Also, you spelled favorite wrong, weirdo.

Author:  Pender [ Fri Aug 03, 2018 10:10 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Smart Sci-Fi

caryc wrote:
....you spelled favorite wrong, weirdo.

:lol:

We need a Godzilla emoji.

Author:  brian [ Sat Aug 04, 2018 3:25 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Smart Sci-Fi

Pender wrote:
caryc wrote:
....you spelled favorite wrong, weirdo.

:lol:

We need a Godzilla emoji.


I made this for you.

Attachment:
gojira emoji.gif
gojira emoji.gif [ 16.49 KiB | Viewed 1215 times ]

Author:  brian [ Sat Aug 04, 2018 3:28 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Smart Sci-Fi

Attachment:
gojira emoji 50 pixels.gif
gojira emoji 50 pixels.gif [ 2.57 KiB | Viewed 1215 times ]
One more for you

Author:  caryc [ Mon Aug 06, 2018 10:27 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Smart Sci-Fi

Love it!

Author:  Pender [ Mon Aug 06, 2018 11:34 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Smart Sci-Fi

Definitely good stuff. I will have to ping Surf Monkey to put it in the FTP so we can use it.

Author:  Shoe [ Thu Sep 13, 2018 3:38 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Smart Sci-Fi

A few minor odds and ends I liked. They don't get big recommendations, and I'm not sure any of these fall into the "smart" category, but they're good:

Robot & Frank (2012)

I'm not sure how "smart" this one is, but it's enjoyable.

Frank Weld is a retired jewel thief coping with senility. His children live too far away to care for him, so his son buys him a robot to take care of the house and to serve as a companion. Frank balks at first, until he realizes he can talk the robot into committing one last heist with him.

This is a charming little indie movie that offers a nice twist on some common science fiction themes without ever screaming, "I am a science fiction movie!"

Safety Not Guaranteed (2012)

Again, not sure that it's "smart" sci-fi -- in fact, you can even make the case that it's not even sci-fi -- but I loved this flick.

Some magazine reporters spot a nutty classified ad from a guy who thinks he can time travel, so in an effort to get out of the office for a few days they decide to seek him out and interview him for a story. It's just an excuse for a paid vacation, but it turns into much more for all of them.

It's a silly hook, but no matter. This is a warm, charming, enthralling movie. Genuinely touching, entirely endearing, completely loveable. Aubrey Plaza is just pitch perfect. Each character has a wonderful arc. Huge thumbs up.

Apollo 18 (2011)

Not great, but since it's a Sf / horror hybrid and since Cary started this thread, I'm listing it as a "maybe think about seeing it maybe" movie.

Unbeknownst to the public, in 1975 one last Apollo mission was done in secret. And what they found there was horrible.

This science fiction horror movie is yet another "found footage" flick, this time purporting to be compiled from footage taken during a secret mission to the moon. Critics absolutely trashed it, but you know what?

I liked it. Sure, the story is thin and like most of these found footage flicks it seems to be filmed with magical cameras, but most of the footage looks authentic, the atmosphere is great, and hey, space program stuff rocks.

Watched it alone at time in a darkened room, and actually found myself pretty creeped out at times.

It's a brisk 86 minutes, too, which is a bonus.

Author:  Chris Knight [ Thu Sep 13, 2018 7:19 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Smart Sci-Fi

I enjoyed Apollo 18. One of the better found footage films.

I just watched Upgrade. It REALLY tries to be smart. It's okay, but forgettable - basically a twilight zone episode stretched to feature length. Good if you're into cyberpunk stuff.

Author:  Monterey Jack [ Thu Sep 13, 2018 8:20 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Smart Sci-Fi

It kind of baffles me how fervent fans of Upgrade are about it, when I found it to be a slick pile of genre clichés. Very well-directed, and certainly entertaining, but I think people were just happy to "discover" it and heaped too much praise on a solid, unpretentious sci-fi B-movie that wasn't part of a multi-million-dollar franchise. I felt the same way about it that I felt about Hotel Artemis, basically they were kind of throwbacks to Pretty Good 80's genre flicks that you thought were better than they actually were because you watched them on HBO fifty times.

Author:  Chris Knight [ Sun Oct 28, 2018 1:31 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Smart Sci-Fi

Hotel Artemis - fun near-future near-noir. Similar to Mute and Upgrade, with a bigger budget.
Annihilation - The antithesis of smart scifi. Just useless symbolism and metaphors for social anxiety. We get it, you didn't have a happy marriage. Holy shit. Hey, if you liked Arrival, you'll go gaga over this.
Star Trek Beyond - yeah, I'm late to this. The Chinese logo in the opening credits says all you need to know about the state of Trek (and Hollywood in general). Despite being the best film set in this rebooted universe, it's still garbage, and there's nothing remotely smart about it (something Trek should be).

Author:  Chris Knight [ Sun Oct 28, 2018 2:20 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Smart Sci-Fi

Remembered why I looked up this topic again - I just got the new 4K blu-ray for 2001. Holy shit, the detail is amazing...so good, in fact, that the ships actually look like models now. Not that I mind.

Yeah, so if you don't have a 4K player (and TV/projector), this movie is worth buying one for.

Author:  brian [ Fri Nov 02, 2018 4:35 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Smart Sci-Fi

Chris Knight wrote:
Hotel Artemis - fun near-future near-noir. Similar to Mute and Upgrade, with a bigger budget.
Annihilation - The antithesis of smart scifi. Just useless symbolism and metaphors for social anxiety. We get it, you didn't have a happy marriage. Holy shit. Hey, if you liked Arrival, you'll go gaga over this.
Star Trek Beyond - yeah, I'm late to this. The Chinese logo in the opening credits says all you need to know about the state of Trek (and Hollywood in general). Despite being the best film set in this rebooted universe, it's still garbage, and there's nothing remotely smart about it (something Trek should be).

I liked Arrival. I didn't care so much for Annihilation. It was fine.

Author:  Monterey Jack [ Fri Nov 02, 2018 7:14 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Smart Sci-Fi

Annihilation is good (and visually stunning), but like the director's earlier Ex Machina, I'm baffled why so many people LOVE it so fervently. It's a pretty basic "body horror"/mind-fuck sci-fi flick that's treated with a glacial, Kubrickian ponderousness. I like it just fine, but it's less groundbreaking and "intelligent" than people make it out to be.

Author:  brian [ Fri Nov 02, 2018 7:33 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Smart Sci-Fi

Screaming bear was kind of cool though.

Author:  Monterey Jack [ Fri Nov 02, 2018 9:01 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Smart Sci-Fi

brian wrote:
Screaming bear was kind of cool though.


That was legitimately eerie.

Author:  Chris Knight [ Fri Nov 02, 2018 10:30 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Smart Sci-Fi

Yeah, the bear/wolf thing was a fun distraction, but Annihilation has the typical Hollywood big-badda-boom ending for no reason (at least it's not a blue beam firing into space this time). I can live with that trope (even if it doesn't make sense - only select things decide to combust, despite everything in the zone having mutated), but the biggest fault of the movie is a serious lack of denouement. It just ends with "oh, that happened, check out this husband and wife rekindling their relationship".

Compare it to Stalker (1979). Meteor crashes, creates a zone that is visually very different than the "normal" world; military goes in and never returns; years go by, and a few people go in and check it out because there's something there (a "room" instead of a lighthouse); Human Condition is examined. It's literally the same plot (minus the bear). Except this film has a lengthy post-climactic sequence that tries to examine the premise. And then ruins it with a goofy end scene right before the fade to black.

Hmmm, maybe I just don't like meteor-crashing-to-Earth movies that don't result in immediate terror.

Author:  brian [ Sat Nov 03, 2018 2:50 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Smart Sci-Fi

Is the goofy scene the one where main dude is like "No wife, I won't take you there"?

Because I thought it was kind of clever and funny.

Author:  brian [ Sat Nov 03, 2018 3:26 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Smart Sci-Fi

It's clever because we just heard the main character talk for hours on how it's important that he takes people to the room, because that's his job, and then he just dismisses her want.

Author:  Pender [ Sat Nov 03, 2018 5:56 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Smart Sci-Fi

Chris Knight wrote:
Hmmm, maybe I just don't like meteor-crashing-to-Earth movies that don't result in immediate terror.

1950s The Blob is not immediate, but definitely awesome.

Author:  Chris Knight [ Sat Nov 03, 2018 7:13 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Smart Sci-Fi

brian wrote:
It's clever because we just heard the main character talk for hours on how it's important that he takes people to the room, because that's his job, and then he just dismisses her want.

Well, I love that scene, because it frames the movie (it starts off with him being an absolute dick to his wife, and then ends the same way). I meant the very last shot - which is a long zoom out of the kid at a table, moving some glasses around...

Author:  Chris Knight [ Sat Nov 03, 2018 7:15 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Smart Sci-Fi

Pender wrote:
Chris Knight wrote:
Hmmm, maybe I just don't like meteor-crashing-to-Earth movies that don't result in immediate terror.

1950s The Blob is not immediate, but definitely awesome.

Awesome, but the 1988 version is better, because someone dies right away.

Author:  Monterey Jack [ Sat Nov 03, 2018 11:24 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Smart Sci-Fi

Chris Knight wrote:
Pender wrote:
Chris Knight wrote:
Hmmm, maybe I just don't like meteor-crashing-to-Earth movies that don't result in immediate terror.

1950s The Blob is not immediate, but definitely awesome.

Awesome, but the 1988 version is better, because someone dies right away.


Plus, the 80s Blob has the balls to kill a kid.

Author:  brian [ Sat Nov 03, 2018 6:11 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Smart Sci-Fi

Chris Knight wrote:
brian wrote:
It's clever because we just heard the main character talk for hours on how it's important that he takes people to the room, because that's his job, and then he just dismisses her want.

Well, I love that scene, because it frames the movie (it starts off with him being an absolute dick to his wife, and then ends the same way). I meant the very last shot - which is a long zoom out of the kid at a table, moving some glasses around...

I forgot about that.

Author:  Pender [ Sat Nov 03, 2018 10:05 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Smart Sci-Fi

Monterey Jack wrote:
Chris Knight wrote:
Pender wrote:
Chris Knight wrote:
Hmmm, maybe I just don't like meteor-crashing-to-Earth movies that don't result in immediate terror.

1950s The Blob is not immediate, but definitely awesome.

Awesome, but the 1988 version is better, because someone dies right away.


Plus, the 80s Blob has the balls to kill a kid.

I usually hate clowns, but the killing of the kid at the start of the newest IT movie is definitely a favorite scene for me.

Killing kids in movies, I am fine with having.

Killing pets? Not so much. I go all John Wick on that shit.

:mad:

Author:  Shoe [ Sun Nov 04, 2018 7:49 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Smart Sci-Fi

Monterey Jack wrote:
Annihilation is good (and visually stunning), but like the director's earlier Ex Machina, I'm baffled why so many people LOVE it so fervently. It's a pretty basic "body horror"/mind-fuck sci-fi flick that's treated with a glacial, Kubrickian ponderousness. I like it just fine, but it's less groundbreaking and "intelligent" than people make it out to be.

But it's not just a body horror movie. That's a pretty surface-level view of it. The movie is about the examination of self.

I've already written about this, so <---there are my thoughts rather than repeat them here.

Author:  Chris Knight [ Sun Nov 04, 2018 9:02 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Smart Sci-Fi

To quote someone else's review comparing Stalker to Annilation (and both to their source material, Roadside Picnic)
Quote:
This film [Stalker] is exactly the type of pretentious art-house film that is highly praised, being picked #29 by the British Film Institute of the “50 Greatest Films of All Time” and getting a 100% positive rating on Rotten Tomatoes, while being completely unwatchable. I started the film determined to give it my undivided attention, but it punished me unrelentingly. I dare anyone to watch this film to the end without wanting to stick a fork in their eye.

The author goes on for 3 paragraphs about how awful Tarkovsky is (he similarly hates Solaris), and that his films are just 2 hours of "nothing happening."

Which is exactly why we get films like Annihilation, that need visual effects and fire and nightmarish bears to hand-hold the audience for 2 hours.

Author:  brian [ Sun Nov 04, 2018 4:20 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Smart Sci-Fi

But Andrei Rubylov is Tarkovsky's best film.

I fell asleep at Stalker and Solaris. I appreciate both - there were large swaths that I found frustrating, but they generally pulled me back in by the mid point.

Author:  Chris Knight [ Sun Nov 04, 2018 7:41 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Smart Sci-Fi

Stalker has a similar vibe to 70s BBC scifi shows, which I grew up on, and why I'm immune to the lengthy dialogue scenes and lack of visual effects. I remember thinking Stalker was boring when I first saw it, but then I couldn't stop thinking about it for days afterwards - so, for all its faults, it left an impression on me.

Agreed on Andrei Rubylov.

Author:  Chris Knight [ Sun Nov 04, 2018 7:53 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Smart Sci-Fi

Just got back from seeing 2001 on the big screen. My friend and I were the only ones in the theatre. I could get used to that.

Author:  Pender [ Sun Nov 04, 2018 10:12 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Smart Sci-Fi

Chris Knight wrote:
Just got back from seeing 2001 on the big screen. My friend and I were the only ones in the theatre. I could get used to that.

I definitely want to see this projected again.

Author:  Chris Knight [ Mon Nov 05, 2018 6:56 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Smart Sci-Fi

Pender wrote:
Chris Knight wrote:
Just got back from seeing 2001 on the big screen. My friend and I were the only ones in the theatre. I could get used to that.

I definitely want to see this projected again.

Weirdly, they left the intermission in (something Kubrick hated), and they decided to play Disney trailers during it.
Compared to the 4K disc that just came out, the projected image didn't look as good as what I was seeing at home. I blame the projector being a touch out of focus (and, like all theatres, they dim the bulb to make it last longer). But it sounded fantastic. I'm not a big fan of the Jupiter & Infinite sequence, but man did it shake the room.

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