Friday, June 28, 2013

Summertime science fiction cinema

Europa Report looks intriguing. While I'm not big on found footage films, there's definitely a market for them, and this deliberately paced space exploration movie looks like it delivers intelligent characters dealing with dire situations on the bleeding edge of human knowledge.

As much as I'm longing for a spot of smart science fiction cinema, I'm also jonesing for some shameless tentpole action.

Especially when it comes to giant robots and kaiju monsters. Though I'm a little leery because there are elements in del Toro's Pacific Rim that feel like they hold the potential for interest-killing cheesiness with audiences. Stuff like having two pilots in each hulking mech, both making identical moves to pilot it.

That setup may have looked good while writing the script as means for generating intra-cockpit conflicts between swaggering alpha males, along with an 'uplifting' team building resolution, but on the screen it comes off as clumsy and blatant. Plot devices shouldn't be that naked, but rather appear clothed in plausibility and a sense of accident or contingency.

Also bringing old school, action-drenched science fiction and anime concepts to the screen, Niel Blomkamp's Elysium. Which will probably be gorgeously shot, hyper kinetic, depressing, and relentlessly heavy handed with its politics.

On the urban fantasy side of the house, Byzantium looks like it offers a new take on vampires and immortality. I know, vampires. I know, I know, new take. But vampires aren't going away anytime soon, and there's still lots of room - in my not very humble opinion - for those who are willing to play with the mythology and carve out new territories on its imaginative borderlands.

Also, while I've mentioned it before here, I 'm curious to see what Alfonso Cuarón's big budget film Gravity will deliver.

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