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Articles tagged with: science fiction

Cinema and Television, Jan/Feb 2010 »

[6 Jan 2010 | 5 Comments | 1,386 Views]
Gaia Ex Machina: James Cameron’s <i>Avatar</i>

James Cameron hates humanity. In the decade plus since Titanic confirmed him as Hollywood’s fiducial king of the world, Cameron’s right wing militarism has found a way to harmoniously converge with his leftist, egalitarian ecological supremacy in Avatar. That Cameron has been a leading pioneer of special effects throughout his entire career is not in question; that Avatar represents an incremental step forward is also unquestionable. But this is not a triumphant return. It’s a political screed of addle-brained intensity that lashes itself to the golden bough of “relevance” and instead rings a loud, clear note of bitter misanthropy.

Cinema and Television, July 2009 »

Cogs in the Machine
[8 Jul 2009 | One Comment | 776 Views]
Cogs in the Machine

Terminator Salvation also opens with a text crawl that recapitulates information we don’t need to know. In fact, it restates events that we already saw in Terminators one through three, and the rest of it is restated in expository dialogue only minutes into the film. The text crawl of T4 assumes two things: 1.) We’re really dense, and utterly incapably of tracking basic plot points along with the film, and 2.) None of us has seen a Terminator film before. Evidently because an audience shelling out greenbacks to the fourth film in a franchise is rarely familiar with the movies that preceded it.

Cinema and Television, May 2009 »

[7 May 2009 | 2 Comments | 754 Views]
My monolith: How <i>The Black Hole</i> guided the evolution of a cineaste

What if the movie a person credits with turning him- or herself into an authentic film buff is the single most influential film on that person’s aesthetic taste? It may be that a person is unable to cite a specific motion picture — after all, one’s passionate love affair with cinema isn’t usually something that occurs overnight. Real, lasting love grows over time. So arbitrarily picking your current all-time favorite just won’t do for this thought experiment. No, if you can’t recall a specific film, I suggest that the pentecostal movie is the one that you loved most as a child. For me, Disney’s The Black Hole, for all intents and purposes, is my own personal Rosetta Stone of aesthetic taste.

Cinema and Television, December 2008 »

Timecrimes: El hombre que doblarse a sí mismo
[10 Dec 2008 | 3 Comments | 662 Views]
<I>Timecrimes</i>: El hombre que doblarse a sí mismo

Fans of genre films – at least, the lucky ones in “select markets” – are getting an imported holiday treat this weekend with the release of Los Cronocrímenes (Timecrimes,) a nifty science-fiction film about an accidental time tourist. I say science fiction deliberately; this isn’t a whiz-bang sci-fi adventure with as many explosions as plot holes, just a modest and satisfying thriller based on a simple what-if premise: what if you went back an hour in time?