Archive | Sci-fi & Fantasy

The Last Starfighter

The Last Starfighter

A little bit Sword in the Stone with a touch of Star Wars (set in our galaxy, in our time), The Last Starfighter filled a vaccum left after the “final” Star Wars film, Return of the Jedi. I saw this one in theaters when it was released, and it has resonated with me ever since: a story about a reluctant hero who is thrust into a full on space war, as the enemy creeps ever closer to his home planet, Earth. The Last Starfighter reminds us that when it’s time to fight, sometimes that’s all there is left to protect those we love – so that they don’t have to. Real courage isn’t around every corner, sometimes you have to scour the universe to find it.

Full review available at http://FilmGrouch.com

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The Last Jedi

Star Wars: The Last Jedi

With some recognizable elements from The Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi, The Last Jedi doesn’t fall into a cyclic garbage chute that many critics claimed was the downfall of The Force Awakens. It seems they listened to the critics a bit and ended up delivering one of the finest films of the Skywalker saga. Powerful story-telling and likable characters make The Last Jedi a must see movie theater experience. And much like I said in my The Force Awakens review, you need to see this one…NOW! People will not be able to keep silent for long, and you will have the film spoiled. I, of course, won’t do that.

There’s a space race against the clock as the resistance runs out of options under their leader, Vice Admiral Holdo (Laura Dern) whose command confidence is put into question as their fuel supplies deplete. You have Rey trying to come to terms with the force and how she can balance it to convince Ren that he has been mislead by Snoke. You will see some old, friendly faces, and you will be shocked by some revelations. You also have a requisite side-mission with DJ, Rose, and Finn trying to infiltrate the First Order to sabotage the tracking device, and you will end up with one of  the most memorable climaxes in cinematic history!

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Donuts

Attack of the Killer Donuts

I wasn’t really sure what to expect going into screening this one. I remember watching Attack of the Killer Tomatoes in middle school and being underwhelmed, other than one scene where this old guy is on a rocking chair and casually comments that he’s watching the tomatoes eat a kid or some shit. So, I kept an open mind and was hopeful that I would at least be mildly entertained. Gotta admit, for a low-budget farce film, this one had a couple of nice moments.

Ultimately, unless you go in for the zany screwball, farce films like Attack of the Killer Tomatoes creature feature films, you are probably not going to wait in line to order up a dozen of these little bastards, but if that is your thing, you might just add this quirky little flick to your cult-classic collection. I mean, it is what it is, the filmmakers know exactly what you want to see, and they don’t disappoint.

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Justice League

Justice League

Batman forms his league comprising of Batman, Superman, Wonder Woman, and others mentioned above, so that they can stop Steppenwolf from getting the boxes and destroying our planet. Can they learn to work together in time to stop the threat or will they fail? Will the team bring hope again? Seeing this may answer that for you.

Overall I was disappointed the most by the characters of this film. Aquaman wasn’t portrayed as King of Atlantis but more like just a dude who has special powers. While The Flash was funny, it was mostly by him being in the presence of superheroes and him showing us why he shouldn’t be there. The laughs were more about him being pretty much a coward. While I don’t know much about Cyborg, he was the most level headed one of the new characters. His character arc is probably the best option, yet his character seemed pretty mechanical. (No pun intended.)

The film’s most exciting part for me was a side scene where we see the Amazon’s defend one of the three boxes in question. The Amazons are just so fun to watch. I wish I could have said the same for the rest of the cast. I’m still feeling the disappointment.

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Spectral

Spectral

Like many people, I’m (slightly) addicted to Netflix. It doesn’t help that they keep coming up with so many good things to watch, like this one for instance. Apparently, Spectral was originally going to come out through Universal Pictures in August 2016, but they changed their minds and transferred the rights to Netflix, who released it in December 2016. I think the way everything turned out was better for the film in the long run. Sci-fi films are a hard sell to audiences in the first place, and this one doesn’t have any “big” names in the cast line-up to help push it. Whereas sitting on Netflix gives it a chance to (slowly) find its audience and let word of mouth from the Netflix junkies (like myself) help its name get around without spending tons of money trying to advertise.

The story that Nic Mathieu, Ian Fried, and George Nolfi came up with is pretty cool. It’s about US forces that are engaging insurgents over a European country of Moldova. During a mission, a soldier gets separated from his team and runs into what appears to be a ghost. Fortunately, the camera goggles the soldier was wearing recorded the event. Soon, more and more sightings of these things are reported, and before long people are wanting answers. The US military brings in Dr. Mark Clyne (Dale), a researcher from DARPA (Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency), who invented the goggles the troops use in the field to see if he came explain what these things are and why they can only be seen through the goggles and not by the naked eye.

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