As much as I admire Brad Bird for making this unabashedly bold science fiction film, I found that structurally it does leave much to be desired. I like the concept, and I thought the visuals were really quite impressive, it’s just sometimes the pace needed a bit of a gentle push to keep things moving. Generally, it is a solid lighthearted sci fi adventure that holds together, without being anything to be too amazed by. I admit I enjoyed it and I did find it intriguing, but I wouldn’t necessarily jump to watch it again any time soon.
Alex Garland writes and directs what can best be described as a haunting science fiction masterpiece. I knew very little upon watching this, and soon found that it is a masterclass in science fiction cinema, built on poignant and intriguing subject matter, accompanied by a sharp screenplay. The performances are solid, with Alicia Vikander once again proving that she is an immense talent that can carry a film to new heights. What I liked best is that the delivery is so smooth and stylish, building a sense of claustrophobia, whilst asking questions as to what it means to be human.
This sets the standard for all Star Wars films, right back where it all started, with a genuinely well made science fiction film that still looks incredible despite approaching its 40th birthday. It’s weird to think about, a simpler time in which George Lucas wrote screenplays that were actually half decent, and could direct a phenomenal piece of film. It holds iconic status for numerous reasons, most notably the ensemble of lovable characters. For me will always remain one of the best science fiction films ever made. Not the best in the saga, but easily a close second.
I want to hug J. J. Abrams. This is the second franchise he’s saved and improved. Ultimately there are fundamental flaws, including a lack of originality, cheesy throwbacks and elements that pissed me off, but that doesn’t remove the fact I thoroughly enjoyed it. The film respects its classic heritage and looks backwards in order to move forwards. George Lucas is completely out of the equation, so it’s like Abrams’ parents have left for the weekend and he’s throwing a kick-ass party. It has substance, humour, superbly directed action, a phenomenal cast, and most importantly a strong female lead!
I was pleasantly surprised to find that this film wasn’t a disappointment. That’s not to say it was ground breaking, but it had the potential to be a lot worse than it was. Thankfully it was a film that I could best be described as “solid.” It’s nothing outstanding, but it does hold itself together without crumbling apart like a biscuit in a hot drink. Most elements are perfectly acceptable and the clichés are kept to a minimum, meaning that when the end credits hit I wasn’t filled with the usual post-blockbuster rage.
Alfonso Cuarón directs and co-writes one of the best science fiction films you’ll ever see. For such a small scale and simple idea this film works perfectly within the genre. For me the standout contributor to the film is cinematographer Emmanuel Lubezki, whose work for this film helps to make the dystopian world hauntingly beautiful and actually quite scary. Lubezki is one of the greatest minds working in cinema, and as he has proven numerous times, he is at his best when collaborating with Cuarón. Some may find it boring, but it is an intelligently written and perfectly paced masterpiece.
The film feels very reminiscent of a number of other films, like Groundhog Day mixed with Aliens, but thankfully it does feel like a new and unique experience in its own right, without feeling like a rip off. Tom Cruise and Emily Blunt work perfectly together as the leading roles, with a supporting cast that’s less annoying than the usual ensemble thrown together for an action film. Seldom unintelligent with the right balance of humour, I actually quite liked this film. It wasn’t perfect and there are elements that need tweaking, but overall it hangs together as a solid blockbuster.
I’m a geek, so I admit I am somewhat predisposed to love science fiction films, especially ones that feature time travel. And yet Looper left me with with a feeling far from satisfaction. It was so awful I suddenly felt inclined to send the idiotic writers a series of letters consisting of completely incomprehensible gibberish and await a response. So when they eventually reply with an inquiry regarding the purpose and meaning of the letters, I would retort: “I’m sorry, is it annoying when someone wastes your time with incoherent writing that lacks structure, consistency and purpose?”
I think what was most disappointing about this film was that it tried so hard to do what other Ridley Scott films have done better. The creepy horror was mastered by Alien and then Blade Runner pretty much covered the themes of trying to find your maker and what it means to be human. So all that’s left for this film I suppose is a little bit of backstory to Alien for anyone who was curious. I don’t think it’s as bad as people said it was because there is something there, we just needed more than it gave us.
This may be my inner film snob talking, but I still find Avatar to be problematic. I accept that it is a big and bold science fiction film that is piece of technical mastery, but it needs more substance. It’s all well and good having the flashy visuals and the ludicrous action sequences, but if the plot and characters are flimsy then the film falls apart. It may be well directed in terms of visuals, but this is still one of the most ill disciplined pieces of work I’ve seen and one of the most overrated films of our time.