Director: Denis Velleneuve. Starring: Amy Adams, Forest Whitaker, Jeremy Renner. USA, 2016. IMDB: 8.0. My rating: 4/4. Science fiction poetry.
– If you could see your whole life from start to finish, would you change things?
– Maybe I’d say what I felt more often. I-I don’t know.
(conversation between main characters)
Arrival is a beautiful reminder that when we gaze at the stars we actually look at ourselves. Shot mostly in dark colours, it is full of internal light. It is a poem, a reflection, a meditation. A story about the most valuable things we have, our fears and desires. About humility, our (in)ability to hear each other and what makes us human. The visual style of the movie tries to bring up Tarkovski’s movies – and not many modern science fiction movies can be proud of that. Still, ”Arrival” combines that in a modern and accessible way that makes the film not an art-house experiment but rather a story for all of us, if we let it in our heart. ”Arrival” is that kind of film that even though not perfect but it makes you feel ashamed for having even a slightest intention to criticize it.
Director: Duncan Jones. Starring: Jake Gyllenhaal, Michelle Monaghan, Vera Farmiga, Jeffrey Wright. USA, 2011. IMDB: 7.5. My rating: 4/4. Timelooped science fiction thriller.
– You seem concerned about the time. What are you late for?
– I’m on my way to an asshole festival. I hear you’re headlining.
(a dialogue between Gyllenhaal’s character and a train passenger)
– Source Code is not time travel. Rather, Source Code is time re-assignment. It gives us access to a parallel reality.
“Source Code” is an incredibly catchy and stylish sci-fi thriller that captures your attention easily and straight from the start. All things are in the right place here – it offers a great story, real characters that you care about, intrigue and a fast pace. Once again Duncan Jones shows us after his amazing debut “Moon” (2009) that you don’t need big funds or epic action to make good sci-fi, and “Source Code” is for sure a remarkable sci-fi film. Continue reading
Director: Pavel Klushantsev. Starring: Vladimir Emelyanov, Geogri Zhzhyonov, Gennadi Vernov, John the Robot. USSR, 1962. IMDB: 6.5. My rating: 3/4. A naive space travel adventure.
– The world government will rule the world according to the laws of mathematics.
(a cosmonaut gone crazy)
– According to quotes from the Smith corporation, the cost of building a highway to the Sirius is 37 million dollars.
(John the Robot)
– Where are your masters?
– Slavery is forbidden by the Constitution, I am a free thinking machine.
(a dialogue between John the Robot and a cosmonaut)
– Inform us on the position of your co-travellers.
– Position horizontal.
(a dialogue between John the Robot and a cosmonaut)
There are several scenes in “Planet of Storms”, for which you can forgive it everything. Continue reading
Director: Georgiy Daneliya. Starring: Evgeny Leonov, Yuri Yakovlev, Stanislav Lyubshin, Levan Gabriadze. USSR, 1986. Imbd: 8.2. My rating: 4/4. Absurd surreal dystopian sci-fi comedy.
– Patzak! Where is your muzzle? Mister PG ordered – all patzaks should wear a muzzle. And
(Uef speaking to Violinist)
– When the society does not have a pants colour differentiation, it does not have the aim. But when it does not have an aim…
Wanna see some truly unorthodox and brilliant sci-fi? Ever heard of “Kin-dza-dza!”? Probably you wouldn’t expect this from a Soviet science fiction, but it is actually a black absurdist comedy set on a faraway planet. It’s hilarious, weird and sad parody on both capitalist and communist societies. Continue reading
: Ben Wheatley. With
: Tom Hiddleston, Jeremy Irons, Siena Miller, Luke Evans. UK, 2015.
IMDB: 5.7. My rating: 2/4.
Psychodelic decadence kaleidoscope of a class conflict in one building.
– Do you want an autograph?
– I am actually searching for Riesling.
(dialogue between Hiddleston’s character and a famous actress)
– Keep the change!
– There is no change.
(dialogue between Hiddleston’s character and a shop assistant)
“High-Rise” is based on the 1975 novel of the same name of J. G. Ballard. So maybe some of you have some idea of what to expect. I didn’t. The story is about a luxury tower building projected by a talented architect Royal (wonderful Jeremy Irons). It is fully functional and has everything necessary for its inhabitants, even a gym and a supermarket. A young psychologist (Tom Hiddleston with a very aristocratically sad face) has just moved in. However, soon the tension starts to rise between common families living on lower floors and an elite class living higher.
Director: Yorgos Lanthimos. With: Colin Farrell, Rachel Weisz, John C Reilley, Ben Whishaw, Lèa Seydoux, Olivia Colman, Ariane Labed. Ireland, UK, Greece, France, Netherlands, 2015. IMDB: 7.1. My rating 4/4. Black weird absurdist tragicomedy set in dystopian future.
– Now have you thought of what animal you’d like to be if you end up alone?
– Yes. A lobster.
– Why a lobster?
– Because lobsters live for over one hundred years, are blue-blooded like aristocrats, and stay fertile all their lives. I also like the sea very much.
(dialogue between Hotel manager and David)
– Can I come to your room sometime for a chat? I could give you a blowjob. Or you could just fuck me. I always swallow after fellatio and I’ve got absolutely no problem with anal sex if that’s your thing. My ex-husband always used to say I had the most beautiful thighs he’d ever seen, but let’s not talk about him.
(Biscuit Woman to David)
Yorgos Lanthimos likes to bring it to the extreme. In Dogtooth (2009) it was a family, now it is the whole society. Or at least some imaginary city or country. We don’t know. He depicts a world in which single people have only 45 days to find a partner and are put in a special hotel facility. As this term expires, they will be turned into an animal they chooses. Welcome to the strange world of Lobster. There’s a lot to explore. It is the first movie Lanthimos made in English. With the budget of $4 million it grossed about $14 millions and received a whole bunch of awards. The scenario was co-written by Lanthimos’ long-time collaborator Efthymis Filippou. Continue reading
Director: Christian Duguay. Starring: Peter Weller, Jennifer Rubin, Roy Dupuis, Andrew Lauer. Canada, USA, 1994. IMDB: 6.4. My rating: 3.5/4.
– Well, you’re coming up in the world – you’ve learned how to kill
(Colonel Hendricksson about two screamers fighting each other)
– Jefferson, you must be confusing me with someone who gives a shit.
For a horror story set on a faraway planet, where almost nothing alive is left and killer robots keep on furrowing the ground in search of a new prey, “Screamers” is a very sentimental movie. Under a bloody and violent disguise one can easily feel that it’s also a story about alienation and loneliness. Then mix enough dark humour, abandoned wastelands on a faraway planet, robots with human-like disguise and extreme cynicism. Yes, it’s a B-movie – and it’s exactly that type of B-movie that we sometimes need so much.