Kirk Douglas turned 101

Yesterday Kirk ”Spartacus” Douglas turned 101. He was born as Issur Danielovitch, and his parents were Jewish immigrants that left Russian Empire (present-day Belarus). Kirk Douglas is one of the last living people of the film industry’s Golden Age.

And what about sci-fi? Kirk Douglas did an extremely weirdSaturn 3” which I haven’t seen… any thoughts on this 1980 film?

First trailer for Alita: Battle Angel

Yahoo! Thanks to Raistlin0903 who is back from his unwanted vacation (sorry, Michel), I’ve watched the new trailer of ”Alita: Battle Angel”.

Here’s the formula: Robert Rodriguez + Cristoph Waltz + $200 million budget + Mahershala Ali + J Connelly + Cameron’s producing.

This is so awesome. I’m practically drooling just thinking about it.

But we all know that while Robert Rodriguez (and Waltz too, by the way) was responsible for creating some of the most amazing stuff I’ve ever seen (”Desperado”, ”From Dusk Till Dawn”, ”Sin City”) he’ve always been pretty inconsistent (three, dammit, three those ”Spy Kids” sequels were totally unjustified, ”Sin City: A Lame to Kill For” was visually impressive but still somehow boring).

The trailer of ”Alita: Battle Angel” is cool and I love these anime-like eyes… however basically it doesn’t show anything we haven’t seen before, so lets hope that there’s much more in the film! I am already happy to have one more original sci-fi movie…

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Raistlin0903

After a bit of a strange week of blogging, and my recovering from a rather nasty flu (you can read all about that right here), today marks the first day that I hope to get back to normal blogging operations. Erm, yeah I don’t quite know what that means either. I’m at least going to try and make an effort to catch up on some posts that I have missed, and try and write some stuff myself again as well. They say there is such a thing as not believing in things that are a coincidence, but I sometimes beg to differ. I literally acquired the first volume of the Deluxe Edition of the Battle Angel Alita manga, this weekend. For those of you not familiair with it, Battle Angel Alita is a long running manga series. It features a young innocent looking cyborg woman called Alita, that is…

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The Falls and Rises of Film Franchises Infographic

Lilyn G. of Sci-Fi & Scary has just published an awesome infographic…

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Here you can see the full hi-res version where you can compare the franchises and see everything in detail.

What are your thoughts?

As for myself, I’ve always been not too tolerant with professional cinema critics, but this infographic just confirms that for the most part they understand very little about cinema. They tend to:

  • bash almost-good/mediocre films much more than they deserve it (basically, every 3rd/4th film in almost any franchise will follow this path, see ”Alien; Resurrection”, ”Terminator: Salvation”, ”Rocky IV”, ”Star Wars”)
  • overrate films that are balancing between good and moderately good (”Prometheus” & ”Alien: Covenant”, ”Resident Evil”, ”Die Hard IV” are good examples, ”Mission Impossible 4 & 5” are rated much higher than the first installment)
  • dislike horror/slasher movies in general

Yikes. Feels so good to be an amateur film critic.

indiescifi451.com’s new homepage

Just a quick update. Since the blog has been growing steadily since I launched it almost one year ago plus some readers were complaining that it becomes hard to navigate and find stuff (most notably dbmoviesblog 🙂 which is by the way an awesome movie blog with thoughtful insights!), I decided to fully renovate the homepage. I hope your face expression won’t be like theirs…

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…and I would appreciate hearing your thoughts and feedback. Now new posts won’t be published directly on the main page, but just as a short link to them. Here what it looks like:

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Does it make any sense?

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07.12.1972. Last manned Moon landing.

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Eugene Cernan aboard the Lunar Rover during the first EVA of Apollo 17.

Here’s what Wolfman from the Wolfman’s Cult Film Club says:

”Eugene Cernan was the Don. He did the whole moon landing trip in 1969 with the Apollo 10 mission before Buzz, Armstrong and Collins to test the mission. Even going through the deployed stages on the lander. I heard they purposely didn’t put enough fuel in the lander because they knew there’s no way he could resisted the pull of landing on the surface. LOL.

If you ever get the chance to watch the footage of Apollo 17 Moonwalk with Eugene Cernan and Ronald Evans mucking around on the Moon you’ll find it hysterical. The banter and the amazing way they talk to each other is incredible. You can only think they must keep talking to stop from thinking about what the fuck they are doing hehe.
Plus check out the documentary on Eugene, it’s a real coming to terms with life after something so gigantic has affected you with the passing of time. The Last Man On The Moon. It’s on Netflix and it’s very recommended. Eugene Cernan is a LEGEND.”

Netflix’s Black Mirror Debuts Season 4 Trailer, Premiere Date Announced

Sleuth News

Netflix’s anthology science fiction TV series Black Mirror has quite the following so a lot of fans will probably be happy that the upcoming fourth season, consisting of six episodes, has finally been given a premiere date of December 29th. This was announced today with an official trailer for the new season. Check it out below:

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Frequencies (OXV: The Manual)

Director: Darren Paul Fisher. Starring: Daniel Fraser, Eleanor Wyld, Owen Pugh. UK, 2013. Budget: unknown, but very low. Box office: unknown. IMDB: 6.8. RT: 100%. My rating: 1.5/4. Romantic girly YA movie pretending to be hard science fiction.frequencies

– Sex is like masturbation, just with someone else.
– I hope not.
(conversation between Marie and Zak)

– I have a 210 I.Q. I never needed to take notes. I just didn’t want to always have to look at people or have them looking at me. It’s the eyes.
(Marie)

It may actually took a while to figure out what is wrong with “Frequencies”. The photography is solid, the dialogues ate witty, the acting is trustworthy and the concept may seem intriguing. Quiet high ratings for such a low budget British movie. But… it just doesn’t work all together. For a not high demanding viewer that doesn’t ask too many questions, “Frequencies” may seem fine. But after a deeper look, it’s easy that it is just another shallow YA movie, this time without a big budget. The whole construction of the movie starts falls apart rapidly. “Frequencies” suffers from a typical disease of being too ambitious, hence trying to say too much and as a result saying little.

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The plot. What we have here? An alternative version of the world, where each person has a special frequency. It totally decides your destiny – those with high frequency w20170307_143753ill never be late for a train, get a bad job offer or spill a cup of coffee (and vice a versa). The whole society is divided from early school years in different groups based on each person’s frequency. Accidentally a boy (Daniel Fraser) with one of the lowest frequencies ever falls in love with a girl (Eleanor Wyld) with a uniquely high frequency. Can he find a way to stay with her?

After a good start, instead of developing more main characters and telling us more about 20170307_143545frequencies and the dystopian (utopian?!) world, the movie is piled up with unnecessary elements. None of which are truly original or well explored, mostly being borrowed elsewhere. Examples? For a few minutes we are introduced to a character who learnt how to foresee the future – this idea is never repeated again. Then, main characters manage to invent a special machine that can alternate frequencies if special words are pronounced. What is it, science fiction or Harry Potter? (I have nothing against Harry Potter, by the way). Then we learn that these magic words cause a side effect (and it’s rather silly). Later, we are introduced to the music concept – music somehow equalizes different people’s frequencies. To make it even worse, the plot even introduces a conspiracy based society. And trust me, there’s much, much more…

20170307_143708With this kind of a realization, the main concept seems even more superficial. Finally, what is this frequency? Is it your destiny? So what will happen if somebody with a high frequency and a low frequency go to catch the train at the same time? The movie never explores even an idea that simple, let alone how the whole society works.

The reception. The film currently has 100% on Rotten Tomatoes (which I find weird). It didn’t win any major awards on independent film festivals except for Kansas City FilmFest.

Worth watching? Not really. “Frequencies” may impress those who haven’t seen many good films as technically it is a well done movie. But dig deeper and you’ll recognize that it looks more like 20170307_143732a shallow gimmick than a good-hearted story it intended to be. After all, it’s one more YA romantic story about a divided society, two teens who cannot be together for some reason (frequencies, in this case) and try to change their destiny.

Don’t fool yourself with the sci-fi wrapping – there’s very little of it. The more you deconstruct the film, the more it starts to fall apart. Surprisingly, the messed up plot, good photography and very decent acting may mask the flawed concepts pretty well (hence high ratings), but as you peel deeper there’s little inside. At its best, “Frequencies” can deliver some witty lines.

Acting:  3/4
Directing: 2.5/4
Originality: 2/4
Maturity: 1/4
Pathos level: high
Final vote: 1.5/4

Watch instead: “The Lobster” for wry and deadpan humour about our society norms and a couple relationship’s dissection, sentimental “Fahrenheit 451” by Francois Truffaut is a curious old dystopia based on Ray Bradbury’s novel, “THX-1138” for minimal and deadly visuals, “Gattaca” for a futuristic take on humanity, “Sunshine” for space dystopia, “Moon” for a minimal thought-provoking futuristic dystopia.

But if you really want to understand why I was so harsh with “Frequencies”, have a look at “Dead Man’s Letters” and “Stalker“. These movie are meaningful and touching, but never manipulating… never having so much vicious excess.

David Harbour of Stranger Things = Hellboy!

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Remember the big guy Hopper from “Stranger Things“?

Well, now he’ll become even bigger and with a stronger sense of justice wry humour than ever.

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That’s so cool! Hopper is one of the best characters of the show (even though often I find myself thinking that any character of “Stranger Things” can be described this way). “Hellboy” will be released 11.01.2019. But I see a shadow of doubt over it… Continue reading