Sunday, October 27, 2013

What's happened to SF Films?

I'm trying to think back to the last great SF film I saw.

It certainly wasn't Prometheus or Elysium. Both looked shiny and pretty, but both were completely ridiculous and, basically, a mess. Looper was just plain stupid.

I saw Oblivion this week, which was OK. It wasn't great, but for a Tom Cruise SF vehicle, it was a typical Tom Cruise SF film.

Last night I watched Upside Down, which made the mistake of trying to pretend it was an SF film by having SF rules, when really it should have declared itself a fantasy film and be done with it. Oh, and if you make rules in your worldbuilding, you can't break them.

I also saw Gravity, which I will include here even though it's not an SF film. There's nothing in that films that couldn't currently happen (apart from the film-maker's usual exaggerations to create a story) and nothing that suggests it being set in the future, apart from a high mission number. It was good, but wasn't great. OK, some of the science was a bit dodgy, but the second half lost the tension and became silly at points, and Sandra Bullock was Sandra Bullock. Now with more botox, it would seem. Those eyebrows just didn't move.

Any others recently?

I enjoyed Star Trek: Into Darkness, but it was no Star Trek movie. There was no 'boldly going', and no 'exploring strange worlds' and 'meeting alien races.' I also didn't like J.J. Abrams throwing in all the 'sparkly' stuff in the first two films. Time travel, end of Romulan world, and transportation from FTL ships. It leaves me more than a little concerned about the future Star Wars movies being in his hands. At least it wasn't After Earth.

Why can't they get it right? Why can't they make a Silent Running or The Day The Earth Stood Still? (Mention Keanu's version and you're no friend of mine!)

At the moment I have high hopes for Enders Game. Please let it be good.

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