Frame of Mind: Science Fiction

by Kathryn Schroeder

The PredatorIn this sixth predator-featured film, Screenwriter Fred Dekker and Director Shane Black, who also has a writing credit, clearly realize that the Predator franchise needs a fresh take and an overhaul. It's great to watch Arnold Schwarzenegger crawl in the mud for survival in Predator, and even Alien vs. Predator (2004) is dreamy to fans of both series, but 2010's Predators is a total disaster. Something had to be done, and Black and Dekker have done something very different with The Predator: They've taken a page out of the Scream notebook and made it -- dare it be said --lighthearted and ridiculously funny, with a side of decent gore, body splicing, and plenty of explosions.

by James Jay Edwards

EmbryoSometimes, science fiction horror movies are subtle, like the modern classics Ex Machina and 10 Cloverfield Lane.  Other times, they’re pants-poopingly frightening, like Alien and Event Horizon.  Still other times, however, they walk the line, becoming so crazy that the viewer is unsure as to what to think, like Phase IV and Prophecy.  And then, there are movies like Embryo.

by James Jay Edwards

RollerballScience fiction is a nebulous thing.  It can be heavily futuristic, or it can take place “a long time ago in a galaxy far, far away.”  Or sometimes, it can take place just barely in the future, giving the audience a glimpse of almost an alternate timeline of history.  It is one of these worlds in which 1975’s Rollerball takes place.

by James Jay Edwards

This Island EarthCharacter actor Rex Reason passed away last week at the age of 86.  Reason primarily worked in television, with appearances on several shows in the fifties and sixties such as “Man Without a Gun” and “The Roaring 20’s,” but he made movies, too, and his two most memorable roles happened to be in science fiction/horror movies.  One was in the final installment of Universal’s Creature from the Black Lagoon franchise, The Creature Walks Among Us.  The other, his most recognizable performance, was in This Island Earth.

by James Jay Edwards

Varan the UnbelievableA couple of years ago, Cinema Fearité made the observation that the monsters that were made famous by the Toho Co. Ltd. Kaiju movies were like The Avengers, even venturing so far as to say that the mighty Godzilla would be Toho’s Iron Man, and Rodan is like their Captain America.  If all of that is true, then the star of 1962’s Varan the Unbelievable would be one of the less appreciated heroes, someone like Hawkeye or Quicksilver.

by James Jay Edwards

The Neanderthal ManThere’s something pleasantly simple about fifties science fiction horror films.  The early low-budget filmmakers would do things like stick a diving helmet on a gorilla suit (Robot Monster) or inject red dye into silicon jelly (The Blob), all in the name of creating memorable movie monsters.  This naiveté carried over into the mad scientist films of the fifties as well.  A perfect example of this innocence-in-filmmaking is the 1953 sci-fi camp-fest The Neanderthal Man.

by James Jay Edwards

They LiveLast week, the world lost a bona-fide icon when professional wrestler/action star Roderick George Toombs, better known as “Rowdy” Roddy Piper, died of cardiac arrest at the age of 61.  Inside the ring, the fan-favorite Piper was primarily a villain in the WWF (later the WWE) and WCW, but on the screen, he was a hero.  By far, Roddy Piper’s biggest cinematic legacy is the 1988 John Carpenter science-fiction horror film They Live.

by James Jay Edwards

The BlobAlien invasions are a pretty common theme of sci-fi/horror movies, and most of them have the same thing in common; they all seem to have similar looking aliens.  The typical movie alien is a bipedal humanoid with an oversized, egg-shaped head and big eyes.  Even the variations of the theme still don’t stray too far from the look; whether it’s a campy b-movie like Without Warning or a horrifying vision like Xtro, the two-legged enlarged-cranial visitor from another planet reigns supreme.  In 1958, right in the middle of the classic period of the sci-fi movie, director Irvin S. Yeaworth Jr. (4D Man, Dinosaurus) got creative with his alien invaders, and the results turned into one of the most beloved science fiction movies of all time: The Blob.

by James Jay Edwards

eXistenZDavid Cronenberg successfully transitioned from low-budget sci-fi horror to “legitimate” filmmaking with A History of Violence in 2005.  Although Cronenberg is now known as a big Hollywood moviemaker with reputable films like Eastern Promises and A Dangerous Method on his resume, horror fans will always remember the man for his early films, slimy science fiction body-horror movies like The Brood and Scanners.  The last really weird movie he made, in 1999, was eXistenZ.

by James Jay Edwards

Strange BehaviorEdgar Froese died last week.  Movie fans might not immediately recognize the name, but they most certainly know his work.  As the founder and only continuous member of the electronic musical group Tangerine Dream, Froese helped dozens of films, from the Tom Cruise vehicle Risky Business to, well, the other Tom Cruise vehicle Legend.  Tangerine Dream’s music worked especially well within the context of science fiction and horror films, with the group providing the soundtracks to such movies as Near Dark, Firestarter, The Keep, and Spasms.  In 1981, Tangerine Dream contributed its inimitable sonic stylings to a budding little Ozploitation flick called Strange Behavior.

by James Jay Edwards

Robot MonsterThere are bad movies, and then there are Bad Movies.  The first category includes movies that in some way are just inferior films, with little or no entertainment value.  The second category, capital B and M Bad Movies, are movies that have substantial flaws and are universally loved in spite, or maybe even because, of them.  Filmmakers like Ed Wood and Roger Corman have built entire careers out of making schlocky films, and the trend continues with modern movies like Showgirls and The Room.  Although the title of Worst of the Worst is highly debatable, a film that is definitely in the running for the honor of the King of the Bad Movies is 1953’s alien invasion disaster Robot Monster.

by James Jay Edwards

The Incredible Melting ManLong before he hit the horror big time with his groundbreaking effects on 1981’s An American Werewolf in London, makeup artist Rick Baker was making Hollywood bleed, ooze, and gush.  He started his career in the early seventies, creating nightmares in films like It’s Alive, Squirm, and the attempted reboot of King Kong.  His big break came in 1977 when he created aliens and creatures for a little film called Star Wars, but that same year he contributed to another classic of the sci-fi/horror genre, The Incredible Melting Man.

by Kathryn Schroeder

Errors Of The Human Body posterThe subject of genetic mutations is enough to evoke fear in anyone.  The lack of control humans have over their genetic material, and what horrors may exist in its intricately woven thread, is a subject science fiction and horror cinema happily investigates.  In his feature-length film debut, director/co-writer Eron Sheean ventures into the territory of genetic research, that of bio-engineering, to deliver a fascinating and horrifying tale in Errors Of The Human Body.

by Kathryn Schroeder

David (Michael Fassbender) in PrometheusRidley Scott's newest film Prometheus (2012) has raised a great many questions, and provided few direct answers for moviegoers.  This piece seeks to uncover some of the mystery surrounded the unanswered questions in Prometheus while analyzing the information provided in the film.  It contains spoilers, and ideas that are solely those of the author and is not intended to be considered factual in its basis.  Unless you completely agree that is, and then of course, it holds truth; more truth than you could ever imagine.  Now, let's have some fun figuring out Prometheus.

by Kathryn Schroeder

Sound Of My VoiceFox Searchlight Pictures is releasing Sound Of My Voice in select cities beginning April 27, 2012.  Co-writers, plus star and director, respectively, Brit Marling and Zal Batmanglij sat down to answer questions about the film in a roundtable interview setting.  For a film such as Sound Of My Voice it was a welcome opportunity as the perplexing nature of the story breeds analysis from the viewer, and for a science fiction fan (like me!) all sorts of questions dying to be answered.

Movie News | Trailers | Events | Goodies: Science Fiction

by Kathryn Schroeder

Guardians of the Galaxy Rocket and Groot PosterFor those who have seen Guardians of the Galaxy you know the enjoyment there was to be had with Groot dancing. If you have not seen the film, then you're in luck as a clip of Groot dancing has been released. If the clip does not convince you to go see the movie read the review here and get yourself to the movies.

by Kathryn Schroeder

Guardians of the Galaxy Starlord PosterThe summer still has plenty of big-budget blockbusters to let loose on the moviegoing masses. But with each new item released in prepartion for Guardians of the Galaxy it is hard to focus on any other film that may come before it. Except for Dawn of the Planet of the Apes, but that is more because there will be apes on horses and that is just plain awesome. Then again, Guardians of the Galaxy has Rocket, and Groot. Oh, the challenges of summer movie watching; it is a good thing we don't have to pick just one movie to see.

Check out the new character posters from Guardians of the Galaxy and mark your calendar for August 1, 2014 when it hits theatres.

by Kathryn Schroeder

The summer movie season has officially begun, and with a gigantic roar as Warner Bros. and Legendary Pictures Godzilla brought in more than $1 million domestically this past weekend--the largest opening of 2014, so far.  There are plenty of big blockbusters headed to cinemas this summer season; X-men: Days of Future Past, Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen, Dawn of the Planet of the Apes, are just a few of the highly anticipated films.  Just as summer begins to wind down a comedy-science fiction-fantasy blockbuster is headed our way from Marvel Studios, Guardians of the Galaxy.  A new trailer and poster have been released for the film and with every new piece of footage seen, Guardians of the Galaxy looks to be a movie to begin a countdown clock for. Is it August 1st yet?

by Kathryn Schroeder

Captain America: The Winter SoldierHave a hankering for some Captain America: The Winter Soldier goodies? You are in luck, as a new TV spot has been released called "Defend." Here it is for your viewing pleasure.

by Kathryn Schroeder

Mark Wahlberg, 'Transformers: Age of Extinction' Poster"We don't need another Transformers movie," said everyone when the fourth installment of the franchise was announced. Did we need a third Jurassic Park?  Or a fourth Indiana Jones? (Okay, we needed a fourth Indiana Jones, just not that one).  A franchise can only survive for so long before it becomes tired, pushed to its story limits, and just plain loses interest from viewers. Michael Bay does not care that this is the case with the Transformers franchise. Instead, a mere few years since the shameful Transformers: Dark of the Moon, he is "rebooting" the franchise and starting anew. The one thing Transformers: Age of Extinction has going for it is Mark Wahlberg is now the lead character--and thank the heavens for that. No one wants to sit through another 2 1/2 hour movie starring the whining Shia LaBeouf. Without further commentary, here is the new poster for Transformers: Age of Extinction, featuring Mark Wahlberg.

by Kathryn Schroeder

Godzilla 2014 PosterThe teaser trailer was not enough. The roar soundbite only a tease. Now, without any further impatient waiting the first full length trailer has arrived for 2014's Godzilla. Long live the lizard!

by Kathryn Schroeder

Godzilla 2014 PosterThe trailer is not enough to keep us satiated until Godzilla hits theatres on May 16, 2014.  How about we hear him roar?  Yes, please. Listen now to the roar that will infiltrate theatres this Summer.

by Kathryn Schroeder

Guardians Of The Galaxy PosterThe first trailer for Guardians Of The Galaxy was released earlier this week and now it is time to meet each of the character's individually.  Images, video, it is all here so you can get yourself acquainted with the new action-comedy-superhero team of Summer 2014.

by Kathryn Schroeder

Guardians Of The GalaxyThe Marvel universe is expanding past The Avengers by bringing audiences into the world of the Guardians Of The Galaxy. The first trailer has arrived for all to enjoy. Guardians Of The Galaxy will be released in theatres August 1, 2014.

by Kathryn Schroeder

Dawn of the Planet of the ApesCharlton Heston famously proclaimed, "Take Your Stinkin' Paws Off Me You Damn Dirty Ape," in Planet Of The Apes (1968).  He probably would have thought twice about it had he encountered king-ape Caesar in Dawn Of The Planet Of The Apes, the much anticpated sequel to Rise Of The Planet Of The Apes.  A new trailer has been released and all there is to say is...wow, humans have quite a battle ahead of them (and I think the apes are going to win).

by Kathryn Schroeder

Godzilla 2014 Poster"We dont' need another Godzilla movie," said many when plans to reboot the Godzilla themed-franchise was made public. Well, after watching the teaser trailer for 2014's Godzilla, the truth is that yes, we do need another movie featuring Godzilla because it looks amazing in the first trailer.

by Kathryn Schroeder

Science Fiction narratives are popular once again, thanks to the slew of great films that have come out over the past couple of years, includeing Gravity, Prometheus, Ender's Game, and Europa Report. The summer of 2014 promises to usher in another fantastic science fiction narrative, from the creative minds of Lana and Andy Wachowski--you know, the team who brought The Matrix into your world. Jupiter Ascending looks to be full of action, romance, danger, and a mysterious power held by a woman. Oh my, how the mind races with excitement over seeing the movie in its entirety.  Watch the first trailer for Jupiter Ascending, starring Channing Tatum and Mila Kunis, now...

by Kathryn Schroeder

Pacific RimCharlie Hunnam lends his voice as narrator for the official main trailer of Pacific Rim.  That alone should be reason enough to watch it, as well as the glimpses of the monsters from the deep.

by Kathryn Schroeder

A first-look motion-poster has been released, straight from the Cannes Film Festival, for I, Frankenstein, the dystopian thriller that pits gargoyles against demons in an epic battle.  I, Frankenstein stars Aaron Eckhart, Bill Nighy, Miranda Otto, Jai Courtney, and Yvonne Strahovski and will be released in theatres January 14, 2014.

by Kathryn Schroeder

Matt Damon In ElysiumFrom the director of District 9, the movie that re-envisioned science fiction filmmaking for a new generation, comes his newest voyage into the science fiction genre, Elysium.  Your only mission while watching this trailer is to try and decipher what exactly is happening in Elysium, besides Matt Damon becoming a cyborg.

by Kathryn Schroeder

Star Trek Into DarknessA brand-new motion poster has been released for Star Trek Into Darkness, as well as a first-look featurette.

by Kathryn Schroeder

Pacific RimThe day has arrived, where big robots fight big aliens in an all out battle to save planet earth--and they do it in the water!  The Pacific Rim trailer, from director Guillermo del Toro, has arrived.  It's pretty amazing, as you will see.

by Kathryn Schroeder

Joseph Gordon-Levitt in Looper.Looper is a time-travel action thriller from Director Rian Johnson (Brick, The Brothers Bloom) that will be released in theatres on September 28, 2012.  One of the most important components of a film is the use of the Score to provide cues to the audience, heighten the action on screen, or set the overall tone of the picture.  Many scores go unoticed while watching a movie, while others are unforgettable.  An inside look featurette with Composer Nathan Johnson shows how Looper's score is a key element to the film as a whole. 

by Kathryn Schroeder

Tom Cruise, courtesy of EWTom Cruise has had a rough week, with his marriage breaking-up and his Scientology beliefs being attacked, for the umpteenth time (yawn).  One good thing to come out of the week, and on his 50th birthday no less, is the release of the teaser trailer for his newest film, Jack Reacher

by Kathryn Schroeder

PrometheusReleased today on Apple Movie Trailers was a special featurette for Prometheus featuring Director Ridley Scott, and the cast of the film, Noomi Rapace, Tom Hardy, and Michael Fassbender.  Here it is, for your viewing pleasure: