Alfonso Cuarón’s Gravity is not only an excellent movie that people should see, but also an excellent movie that people need to see, to learn about what they have mostly been missing in the last half century of films about space travel namely, the actual experience of living in space.
Archive for 'Films'
by Gary Westfahl One of the quirks of renowned magazine editor John W. Campbell, Jr. was his fondness for story titles consisting of a single abstract noun, as illustrated by classics like Isaac Asimov’s “Reason” (1941) and Clifford D. Simak’s “Desertion” (1944) and obscurities like Norman Spinrad’s “Subjectivity” (1964) and Joseph P. Martino’s “Persistence” (1969). [...]
by Gary Westfahl Like The Hunger Games (2012) (review here), its wildly successful precursor, The Hunger Games: Catching Fire is a film that makes few demands on its expected audiences of young viewers. They are expected to bond with plucky heroine Katniss Everdeen (Jennifer Lawrence), whose affections are intriguingly torn between sweet boy-next-door Peeta Mellark [...]
by Gary Westfahl In several respects, Ender’s Game represents precisely the sort of film that I have been calling for in recent reviews, since it rejects the simplistic and unrealistic world view of melodrama, refuses to divide the universe into virtuous heroes and despicable villains, and explicitly endorses efforts to understand and reconcile with apparent [...]
by Gary Westfahl Anyone reviewing Elysium must begin, I suppose, by addressing the controversy du jour surrounding its release, namely, the extent to which the film is a disguised portrayal of contemporary America and its political issues. Certainly, despite their protestations, such suspicions of a covert agenda cannot be surprising to writer-director Neil Blomkamp and [...]
by Gary Westfahl Perhaps I am suffering from a form of dementia induced by excessive exposure to cinematic explosions and high-tech battles, but I thoroughly enjoyed watching Pacific Rim, despite the very low expectations that I brought to the theatre, and I would heartily recommend Guillermo del Toro’s production to anyone long enamored of science [...]
by Gary Westfahl In the first version of an earlier review, I mistakenly described a moment from a film preview as part of the film itself – an inexcusable error, to be sure, but an understandable one, given the way that all contemporary action films increasingly blur together in one’s mind, each rigidly adhering to [...]
by Gary Westfahl Based on their track records, one cannot approach a science fiction film starring Will Smith and directed by M. Night Shyamalan with extreme optimism. Despite occasional ventures into more subdued projects, Smith has specialized in mindless, action-packed spectacles that, like roller coaster rides, provide immediate excitement but nothing worth remembering. And Shyamalan [...]
by Gary Westfahl J. J. Abrams’s Star Trek into Darkness is such a superb piece of cinematic entertainment that it seems a shame to say anything critical about it; yet after the adrenalin rush dies down, and one begins to think about the film in the context of the entire Star Trek franchise it is [...]
by Gary Westfahl Since Joseph Kosinski’s Oblivion is both an entertaining and interesting film, a reviewer faces the pleasant challenge of finding the best way to explore its provocative virtues and revelatory flaws. At the moment, I can discern five appropriate descriptions of the film: as a typical sci-fi action film; as yet another response [...]