Brad Bird is certainly a fun storyteller filled with ideas about science fiction that’s a welcome break from the normal grim and grit of the modern era, I just wish “Tomorrowland” were a masterpiece. If not, I wish it were more than mediocre. As it is there’s a great movie somewhere in the script, there’s just too much narrative and disjointed writing to really see it rise to the surface and hit a home run. “Tomorrowland” is one of the more entertaining messes of the year. It’s a film that doesn’t introduce its heroine until thirty minutes in to the movie, and completely cuts her out of the equation in the finale. “Tomorrowland” is not a bad movie by any means, it’s just the writing is so scatterbrain and haphazard, I couldn’t really appreciate the whole shebang, in the end; which is sad, because I certainly wanted to love “Tomorrowland.”
Your attitude toward “Dark Skies” depends on whether or not you want to see a remake of “Signs.” In reality, the entire movie is one big reworking of the M. Night movie sans the religious overtones. There’s the disjointed family, the bonded siblings, the static laden communication devices, the doe eyed youngster who can sense the aliens, the barking family dog, and there’s even an awkward dinner where the dad begins sharing stories about his children. And yet, despite the obvious derivations from the aforementioned M. Night film, I really enjoyed “Dark Skies” through the very end.
My love for “The Last Starfighter” was cultivated through late night cable television in the early nineties, where I was oblivious to its existence for many years. Yes, it’s a major rip off of “Star Wars: A New Hope,” but that’s what’s so entertaining about it. It embraces its derivative functions, and runs with it to deliver a fun kids space opera that’s simple, but exciting. Director Nick Castle’s “The Last Starfighter” has rapidly become one of my favorite action films of all time as it twists the silliness in to a riveting and rousing fight between an underdog and a galactic force of evil.
I was so giddy when the film ended on a “To Be Continued” note, because if Wes Ball plays it smart, he can have a series of amazing films on his hand that will tell a story piece by piece. I can definitely picture this series of short films garnering a massive cult following if Wes Ball were to pursue a series. But alas, I imagine what with the massive animation Bell and his company undertakes, we just have a short sequel coming up. And I can do with that.
As an unofficial capper to the pop culture bash that has been “Shaun of the Dead,” and “Hot Fuzz,” I wish I could bring greater tidings to fans of Pegg and Frost who anxiously awaited their third foray in to another genre adventure, but as it stands “Paul” is merely an okay movie. It’s not the worst comedy of the year, but it’ll far from be remotely remembered as the supreme comedy the gentlemen Nick Frost and Simon Pegg partook in. “Paul” feels like a watered down dose of Edgar Wright fare and unfortunately without him in the equation, this third outing as a team doesn’t entirely succeed as a comedy.
A ridiculously talented cast leads what is easily one of the most underrated films of the last few years; “Monsters vs. Aliens” is a Mad Magazine style action adventure film that not only manages to pay tribute to the classic science fiction B movie tropes of the golden age of cinema, but also manages to create its own monster squad, that show they can save the world and not terrify it. “Monsters vs. Aliens” teams a blob, a gill man, a bug man (Hugh Laurie in his noticeable smug but likable demeanor), a giant grub, and a 50ft woman to take on archetypal alien menaces as they go on an exploration of themselves and their strengths as a team.
Director Sandy Collora is known around the country for being one of the most, if not the most talented fan filmmaker of the modern era. Collora is a skilled artist and a man capable of creating his own visions of a mythos that are nothing short of brilliant and dazzling. Not surprising, Collora eventually took time out to create his own world with his own characters and it happens to be a pure work of science fiction excellence that channels the likes of “Hell in the Pacific” to convey a wide scope of a grander story that is scaled down to the personal battle of two soldiers in the middle of a inter-galactic war. Collora paints the picture of two soldiers stranded on an island during a great war that eventually becomes their own personal battle.
Spaceships are probably the nerdiest aspect of any fan boy’s repertoire and knowledge. I’m not one of those nerds who take pride in owning Millennium Falcon blueprints because unless I can board it, what’s the point of owning it? Even with Harrison Ford, George Lucas, and Chewbacca’s signatures, owning a blueprint of a fictitious ship is just above and beyond nerdy and pointless. But in honor of the slew of upcoming science fiction films storming theaters like “Skyline,” and “Battle: Los Angeles,” and the foreign import “Monsters,” and “Super 8,” (and whatever crap Eli Roth is planning with his alien movie) extra-terrestrials and spaceships are slowly becoming all the rage.
So we thought we’d cash in our final chances with a living breathing woman and list our ten favorite movie spaceships in order. If we’re never going to touch breasts again, we might as well be anal about it, right? Spaceships can be just as much a character as their alien pilots, and ninety percent of the time they’re even more complex characters than the denizens within them. Sometimes they’re beacons, sometimes ratty old rust buckets, and other times they can signal ultimate annihilation for a populace consisting of forty million city goers.