Archive for Reviews

The first science fiction film in history was released at 1902 (A Trip to the Moon, written and directed by Georges Méliès), since then the Science-Fiction genre evolved steadily, thanks to modern computers generated imagery and our own technological evolution.

In the last 20 years a huge amount of amazing science fiction films emerged, to the point that the cable channel owner NBCUniversal created a dedicated channel for Science Fiction (SyFy).

In this article you’ll find my top 10 Sci-Fi movies from 2000-2010.





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Top 5 Grossing Films of 2011

2011 has been an interesting an unexpected year for the film industry. It’s a year where many critics patronized sequels which offered predictable high sales but less creativity. While people won’t easily get tired of a sequel to a film they loved, releasing several sequels could damage the brand in the long run if each subsequent film was not to a high standard. Sequels also clip the wings of creativity because they stop production companies funding new films with different stories.

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We Are What We Are Film Review

We Are What We Are (Somos Lo Que Hay) is a Mexican horror film written and directed by Jorge Michel Grau. This is his first feature film and from the looks of the movie, he is set to do more horror films as this offers a very haunting take on macabre. Instead of focusing on the victims running away from the culprits, the movie focuses on the culprits themselves.

The plot of the movie is not for the faint of heart – the father just passed away (gruesomely) so it’s up to the grieving family to look for their source of sustenance. The twist is that the family are actually cannibals. The son opted to take over the role as the provider where he ultimately targets prostitutes as their food.

Like most modern horror films, the movie banks on the gruesomeness of the act. But it’s not like Hostel where the story revolves around torture. It’s a movie that takes a look at the twisted family and the implications of their lifestyle. The moral grounds are questioned and the idea of survival within the family is pushed to the limit.

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Scott Pilgrim vs. the World is a movie based on a comic book with the same name. The movie stars Michael Cera as Scott Pilgrim and Mary Elizabeth Winstead as Ramona Flowers (Scott’s love interest). Edgar Wright (Shaun of the Dead) directed the film.

Although the movie is based on a comic book, its quirky references to old video games made it a stand-out.

While following the adventures of Scott Pilgrim as he fights the evil of his girlfriend Ramona Flowers, he is often showed referencing his capabilities and movements from old video games. Even the fight scenes are based on video games. Credit Edgar Wright’s familiarity with the gaming culture and his ability to reference games smoothly. It’s actually not surprising considering his other movie homage, Shaun of the Dead.

Unfortunately, the mere fact that it’s homage to old video games and comic books has limited its appeal. Those who grew up watching the evolution of video games will definitely enjoy the movie and fans of the comic book series will never leave the theater disappointed.

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after.lifeOne of the best films I watched in 2010, After.Life is a thriller starring Liam Neeson and Christina Ricci. The film was directed by Agnieszka Wojtowicz-Vosloo and it is full of surprises. Anna has a car accident and is taken to the funeral director  and the viewer will try to find the answer for the question “Is she alive or dead?” as the answer becomes very confusing at some point.

The funeral director appears to have the gift of talking to the dead but could also have the intention of burying the girl alive. Trapped in the funeral home, Anna is forced to accept her own death, she has the chance to walk away but she does not in the end and will cross over to the other side. During the unfolding events in the film (critics commented that it is a slow paced movie) the viewer might think that Anna will be discovered and saved or she will manage to run away from the funeral house but when one sees the photo collection of former “clients” of Eliot Deacon, the funeral director, one may think that the man finds a pleasure in torturing his customers with lies and burying them alive.

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Nae Caranfil – Philanthropy

filantropicaLast night I was one of the lucky guests of Romanian Cinematheque at the Romanian Cultural Institute in Belgrave Square, London. Yesterday’s show was “Philanthropy”, directed by Nae Caranfil and starring Mircea Diaconu and Gheorghe Dinica. The film is a winner of Young European Jury Award at Mons Festival of Love Films 2002 and Public Prize at Paris Film Festival 2002.
The film is a predecessor of Slumdog Millionaire and even better than the Oscar-winning production. Ovidiu, a 35 year old teacher is living with his parents and belongs to Bucharest’s “beggars with a degree” class. His self-published book of fiction is barely earning him the equivalent of a tram ticket but everything will change after he meets the TV spokesmodel Diana.
The film is a nice bitter comedy but stripping off the comedy wrap it is also a sad story. The circumstances will always  turn into Ovidiu’s favour. When you expect the truth to be revealed, there is also a comic twist which makes Ovidiu a winner and a hero, and  his bruised eye will also contribute to that.

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Kathryn Bigelow: The Hurt Locker

hurt lockerDirected by Kathryn Bigelow, the movie is about a bomb disposal team who tries to deal with personal issues while saving lives and their own. The film focuses on Jeremy Renner as Sergeant First Class William James as he uses uncanny methods in approaching his life and his job.

At first glance, the movie can be billed as a war movie that tries to be preachy about the soldiers’ situation. But as the film unfolds, it tells a different type of story. Each character in the movie (Renner’s team mates played by Anthony Mackie and Brian Geraghty) has individual issues that are also related to the war but on a very personal level.

The movie could have easily fallen apart if it had focused on the characters but it is still a war movie which means there will be some action. You can breathe after each bomb disposal but there will always be another situation that you have to take a closer look at.

The movie doesn’t have a lot of twists but that’s part of the story’s beauty. It’s an amazing journey of the main character as it unfolds before the viewer’s eye.

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Ruben Fleischer – Zombieland

zombieland-posterZombieland is a horror comedy flick that is sure to tickle your funny bone. The characters in this movie are doing the strangest things despite their situation. The situation is, they are just 4 of the very few survivors of the virus that turns humans into zombies.

The first characters in the movie are Columbus and Tallahassee. Columbus wanted to go back to Columbus, Ohio to find his parents and see if they are alive. On his way, he met Tallahassee who agreed to give him a ride while fighting off zombies. Then they met 2 girls named Wichita and Little Rock. The 2 girls took all their weapons and the car and drove off heading to Los Angeles. Eventually, the 2 guys found a Hummer and a bag with guns and headed to find the 2 girls to seek revenge. Eventually they found Bill Murray who also escaped the zombies by pretending to be one of them. They then mistakenly killed Bill Murray too and the 2 girls went out to find an amusement park.

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Rob Zombie’s Halloween II

halloween-iiIf you have watched the first Halloween then you already know what to expect from this second film – a lot of stabbing and blood. Even if you haven’t watched the first movie you would still be able to keep track with the story through Laurie’s recollection and flashbacks.

In this movie, Laurie’s brother Michael Myers was actually alive contrary to the first film where she thought she already killed him. Michael Myers was on a killing spree and killed several people in Haddonfield, Illinois. Laurie was taken to a hospital but wasn’t able to stay there for long because the living Michael came back and killed everyone in that hospital in search of his sister.

She survived the massacre but even after some years she still couldn’t get over the trauma. Still hoping that it was all over… But, it really wasn’t over and the bloodbath continues.

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A lot of old school cartoons have been popping up on the big screen for the past few years, much to the delight of those who used to love watching them back when they were little trouble makers.

This summer of 2009 one of the best animated action packed series has come alive and is ready to wow moviegoers. G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra is one of the most anticipated movies to come out this year and now that it has hit the theatres, people are flocking to see if it’s as exciting as it was way back them.

Minus Sgt. Slaughter, the whole gang of Joes are present in the film and of course the kick-ass villains who make the plot more exciting.

The story is set in the near future where nanotechnology based weapons have been perfected and are set to be used by James McMullen, a weapons expert with the help of Doctor, to strike terror into hearts of millions and re-arrange the way the world is run. General Hawk then recruits Duke and Ripcord and the other Joes to stop McMullen and Doctor.

A great movie full of special effects and excitement that all family members will surely enjoy.