Predators (2010)

Don’t you also have those days when you wonder why on Earth you pay for television, cause nothing is ever on?

Luckily, we borrowed this weekend : Predators!

Not exactly a chick flick, but those aren’t what they crack up to be either (still wished I hadn’t watched half of Confessions of a shopaholic!!! – why, why did I watch that!). I did see the first one with Schwartzie (you know I mean Predator, right – there’s only one Confessions of a shopaholic  I hope and Schwartzenegger isn’t in it!) but that’s so long ago, I only remember: forest – shooting – ugly alien – ugly alien cloaked – mud. But that’s ok. I tend to forget plot lines with guy-movies. Though I never really stop being entertained.

So, Nimród Antal  directs and stars Adrien Brody (The Pianist), Topher Grace (That 70s Show), Laurence Fishburne (The Matrix) and Danny Trejo (Desperado) … from the actors I know in it.

PLOT

We start off by seeing Brody falling through the sky, seemingly unconscious but waking up from that state while falling. His parachute luckily opens in time before falling in a tropical forest. He’s not alone, because other parachute drop as well and soon after landing our man Brody gets fired at.

It’s clear that all persons in that forest seem to have come into it in the same way: unaware and by falling out of the sky. Each dropped person seems to have a military or ‘hands on’ background, or even a very questionable one. Except for one, who is a doctor (Grace). – I don’t know about you, but I immediately doubt on the ‘innocence’ of this doctor, who seems to be at the wrong place at the wrong time.

Not to spoil it for anyone, but I think it’s pretty clear by the title of the movie, all dropped are to be hunted like game and it’s either work together to survive, or survive each other.

OPINION

I was entertained. I liked Brody and what he did with his voice. Cause honestly, thinking about Adrien Brody you’d wonder if a skinny dude like him would survive an alien hunt, but he convinced me. But over all, there was limited gore, but enough.

What does annoy me, as in every hunted movie, is that there is always some character who cannot keep shut or quiet down, while hunted by horrible killers/aliens. Shut up! Don’t give your position away, you fool! Every time again!

And then one last thing I didn’t feel for is the credit song : Long Tall Sally by Little Richard. I mean, throughout the movie we had good and the right kind of music (I mean right by the look and feel of the movie), and then bam: end with a song that felt so wrong. I don’t care if  it was used in the original Predator film, it felt wrong. Like wearing a nice, sophisticated black dress, and then orange pantyhose and muddy sneakers under it. Just not done.

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Offscreen 2011: Ikarie XB-1 / Voyage to the end of the universe (1963)

This Czech sci fi pearl is a real gem. The director is Jindrich Polák.

STORY

We follow a crew on board of a space ship, Ikarie (Icarus) in the 22nd century, who just started their 28 months journey from Earth  towards Alpha Centauri to seek out if there is life on one of the planets orbiting that sun.

They have left Earth and their loved ones behind in this uncertain voyage, knowing they’ll be much younger when they will return; the journey of 28 months will have made 15 years pass on Earth (if I explain that correctly). On this voyage, we see how they live their lives on board and adapt to life in space.

On their voyage, they face several troubles. They come about an old space station on which everyone died, unsure what happened. The Ikarie crew find out that it’s a 20th century station and realize too late it has nuclear weapons. The away-mission crew perish when one of the nuclear heads goes off. In response to this unfortunate accident and having lost 2 of his crew, the captain (of the 22nd century crew), criticizes the 20th century for its cruelty and barbaric behaviour (citing Hiroshima, the Holocaust, …). So we learn that the 22nd century has evolved to a more pacifist era, beyond the need for nuclear means. But the 20th century isn’t all bad, is said to the captain, when playing a piano excerpt from a contemporary composer (so sorry, I forgot to remember the name of the composer).

Soon after this loss, the ship succumb to a strange illness where people fall unconscious for no reason. It started when two of the crew who had worked on the hull of the ship succumb, but soon after, we notice the ship is affected by this phenomenon. It is believed due to a radioactive black star which had positioned itself between the ship and the sun. As the ship falls under a sudden sleep, the ship goes forth on its voyage…

OPINION

Not like any sci fi outer space movie I’d expected. Though the very sixties feel, it had its own little world that worked very well. You must admire the production this movie had.

I loved the camera shots. They must have had a great d.o.p., because how the actors were put to frame was nicely done.

The only thing I can say is, if you can get the opportunity to see it (which I can imagine, is not that easy… I think), you should grab it. I was told that they made a dubbed US version, and colored it (yes the movie is black&white, but that’s a good thing, people!!!) with an alternative ending! Why that is done, is beyond me! But anyway, a recommendable movie!

Offscreen 2011

Offscreen Film Festival is back and started this Thursday.

It’s the fourth edition of the festival, and so far I’ve been to the last two. It’s held from 9th till the 27th of February 2011 mainly in Cinema Nova, but also at the Cinematek, Bozar  Cinema Rits in Brussels.

This year’s themes are Outer Space science fiction, Face/Off “face transplantation” films, films by Monte Hellman, Animation Extravaganza and an evening with Phil Mulloy among others. The movies shown are often quirky cult films or art house cinema, so don’t be alarmed if its a bit strange. That’s just it’s charm.

I haven’t been yet, but plan to. I leave you with a little trailer of one of the films showing:

Official site: http://www.offscreen.be/

The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy (2005)

Ok, first real post of the new year and oh Lord: it’s sci-fi related!!

But don’t panic: it’s a comedy, so that makes up for it. Oh who am I kidding, I like sci-fi (only, yes, the kind that makes me laugh, that I have to admit.)

But first: a very a-typical movie trailer:

I know I’ll spoil this for you, but no: there is no woman in bikini or excessive explosions in this movie, which the trailer here promises. They’re cheeky! Making you believe that.

I was watching The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy my brother recorded from the BBC round Christmas time. Not having read the books (this adaptation was from the author Douglas Adams), I only half knew what I was getting myself into. I had some fears that I might not like it – but ” au contraire”, it was entertaining and laugh out loud funny.

PLOT:
Opening scene: a narrator (Stephen Fry) tells us that all along dolphins have tried to tell us something, but we, human kind, thinking to be the most intelligent life form on Earth – misunderstood their attempts on telling us the end of the world was coming for entertaining tricks. (Now you know that the plot entails the destruction of the world. But aha! How will it be done!)

The main character, Arthur, is desperately trying to avoid his house being destroyed for a new highway passage by lying in front of the bulldozers. Little does he know, that is the main reason the Earth will be destroyed: to build an interstellar highway passage. (Have I lost you already, dear reader?). He finds himself suddenly hitchhiking the warning/destruction ship and finds himself to be the second last survivor of Earth…. after that, all things go pear-shaped… and funny things happen (yeah well, plot is too difficult to explain, and there are ample sites who do it better than I can.)

OPINION:
I was surprised to find it a mainly British kind of movie, or the feel to it was so anyway. That took me a bit off guard.

I must admit I was only attracted by the cast (although some only do voice over’s or have a small part).

  • The narrator is Stephen Fry, or who I call ‘the renaissance man’ cause he does so much: comedian, actor, writer, filmmaker, presenter on tv, …
  • Sam Rockwell, who in Galaxy Quest (2000) played Crewman N°6, plays here the President of the Galaxy and has kidnapped himself and stolen a space ship called The Heart of Gold.
  • He is joined by another Galaxy Quest actor (also Harry Potter, Love Actually…), Alan Rickman who does the voice over for the manic-depressive robot.
  • Bill Nighy plays a coast line designer at the place where planets are made on command…
  • John Malcovich as the leader of a cult on a planet that worships tissues….

I see myself writing these things and can’t help feeling how strange it all sounds. But when you see the movie it all makes sense… in a way….

So if you like sci-fi and don’t take it too seriously, you like humour and funny situations or you just are in need of some entertainment: then this will certainly fill those needs.

How some last episodes don’t fullfill… ya know

 Recently I saw the last episode of the Veronica Mars series and was very disappointed. Bear in mind that the third season was cut short unexpectedly… the CW decided to stop the show 2 episodes sooner than supposed to. But what the frell (pardon my farscapism) what’s that ending? Everything was set up for her FBI internship? What about the Logan outburst of defending her honour? Will Keith stay Sheriff or will that creep and low life Vinnie be voted for the job?

I know, it’s just a show, but closure people! It’s Star Trek Voyager all over again! (I get that the crew eventually got back to earth and that B’lanna and Paris were to become parents at that exact moment they get out of the wormhole, but I missed any waw-effect which I expected from Voyager…). And I haven’t even started on Stargate SG1: last episode was a good episode – with the trapped in momentum thing and living a lifetime trapped there. But not a “show’s finale” to me! I hoped to be surprised like I was with episode “200”, which was brilliant. Compared to Farscape (and I mean before the Peacekeeper series), these endings are just plain. Farscape’s finale was shattering. Literally.

Maybe I’m difficult to please. Although that seems impossible, I almost watch anything (except Prison Break of Vanished or Point Pleasant).

I don’t know. I just wonder, how many out there are disappointed by some show’s last episode and which one was it?

Heroes: a series

For me, again a new discovery on TV: Heroes.
With some reservation, I did watch the commercials on this new series (new to Europe I guess), but fearing that the excitement and suspense it promised wouldn’t be fulfilled I didn’t watch it.

Well, now I wish I had. I saw episodes 3 & 4 and have no idea what it’s about exactly. Only that some people discover they have certain powers (stop time, revive, fly, see the future). Obviously the characters are linked (story-wise) together somehow … this will unfold no doubt as the series continues. But as we saw in Lost, I wonder if that will keep being realistic as it goes on.

If I’m perfectly honest, it only caught my attention because actor Milo Vertimigglia ( I hope I spelled is right) plays in it. So my motives are somewhat questionable.

Anyway, if anyone could summarize the first two episodes for me? Maybe I will just do some looking on the net.

Farscape quizzes and whatnot’s

If you want to test how good a Scaper you are, or you just want to do a little quiz on the subject of Farscape? Take a look here:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/cult/farscape/funscape/index.shtml

There are several quizzes on topics such as Farspeak, food, Peacekeepers or just general knowledge. It’s fun, but for Scapers it’s maybe a bit too easy (I think). Example:

Who named Moya’s child?

  • Moya, who else?
  • Rygel, by mistake
  • Zhaan, reluctantly
  • Aeryn, at Moya’s request

There are also several interviews, quotes, … but since the shows cancellation no new articles or news have been added (no surprise).

You can brush up your Farscape language (and rude words) as well.

Farscape or bust!

Being a complete tv-aficionada (means I love to watch it a lot), I just have to mention how good Farscape is.

Now I know, many think it just a sci-fi series like many others. I contradict that. I have watched Star Trek Generations, – DS9, – Voyager, – Enterprise; and it doesn’t even come close!

Farscape is about an astronaut, John Crichton, who accidentallygoes through a wormhole and ends up at the other side of the galaxy on board of a living ship, a leviathan called Moya. Since that day everything has gone terribly wrong for him. Desperate to get back, he has to live on this leviathan with several prisoners on the run from the Peacekeepers. Over the years, they form close relationships, still keeping hidden agenda’s whenever the opportunity presents itself, though. Too complex? Well go watch the DVD’s.

It also has great dialogues, a lot of puns and cultural references (pop culture). Here are some interesting quotes: http://en.wikiquote.org/wiki/Farscape

quote 1

Come on out, Chiana. Look, I don’t have time to play this game. Durka’s gone Hannibal Lector on us. (Crichton -Durka Returns)

quote 2

Have we sent the ‘don’t shoot us we’re pathetic’ transmission yet? (Crichton – Out of Their Minds)

The effects are unbelievable, the series is beautifully shot and the make-up department did a fantastic job!

Unfortunately, after 4 seasons the show got cancelled! (Why the frell did they do that!). There is a mini series called Peacekeeper Wars, which pretty much tie up the loose ends after season 4. I highly recommend that too.

Now Ben Browder (John Crichton) and Claudia Black (Aeryn Sun; also played small part in Pitch Black) can be seen in Stargate SG1. It is a treat to watch them together again, although I loved their characters in Farscape more.

Oh, and if you get the DVD’s, do watch and listen to the extra’s on it. It is really worth it!