Screen Junkies » SciFi movies http://www.screenjunkies.com Movie Reviews & TV Show Reviews Mon, 15 Dec 2014 22:41:59 +0000 en hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=3.3.3 The Film Cult Presents: Contact http://www.screenjunkies.com/movies/the-film-cult-presents-contact/ http://www.screenjunkies.com/movies/the-film-cult-presents-contact/#comments Fri, 12 Sep 2014 15:34:22 +0000 Philip Harris http://www.screenjunkies.com/?p=264986 Based on the Carl Sagan SciFi classic of the same name, and directed by Robert Zemeckis of Forest Gump fame, Contact is the tale of Ellie Arroway, a scientist who has devoted her life to finding evidence of alien life.

The post The Film Cult Presents: Contact appeared first on Screen Junkies.

]]>
Warning! Spoilers Ahead!

Remember when Jodie Foster was relevant? When her acting was pure and everyone related to her onscreen struggles? She used to show such range, such acting genius. And yes, I’m talking about Freaky Friday. Jokes aside, there was a time when Jodie Foster wasn’t the unofficially lesbian, ironic friend of Mel Gibson, when her craft was the gold standard. And yes, of course, as Clarice Starling in Silence of the Lambs, she was truly magnificent. In all honesty, however, I think she was better in this week’s Film Cult pick: Contact.

Based on the Carl Sagan SciFi classic of the same name, and directed by Robert Zemeckis of Forest Gump fame, Contact is the tale of Ellie Arroway, a scientist who has devoted her life to finding evidence of alien life. Not unlike Clarice Starling, Ellie is a bit of an outsider, the genius girl ready for her chance to shine. Well, Ellie gets it, damn the consequence. Not only does she find strong evidence of alien life, but said evidence is actually a blue print for a time space transporter she gets the privilege of using. When her pod falls through the building-sized, spinning three rings—man, only 2001: A Space Odyssey compares to the depiction of deep space on film.

Also thrown into the film, for spiritual conflict and terrible sexual chemistry, is the character Palmer Josh, played by none other than Mr. “all right, all right, alright” himself, Matthew McConaughey. This was when McConaughey was his most beautiful. His character is so conservative, so laced up. It’s hard not to imagine him naked. That said, Jodie’s real life sexuality seeps through the surface of her character, because their sexual tension is about as strong as mine is with my landlady’s dog. In fact, I’m more intimate with my—I’ll stop there.

This film has been the punch line of many jokes, never really getting the respect it deserves. It definitely hasn’t been canonized, and yet when talking to my nerd friends, each of them has something kind to say about this movie, how they loved it, and how they wish it was better known. I couldn’t agree more.

Ellie is facing an uphill battle. Anyone who spends their time waiting for Aliens to make a house call has to be a strong person. These people searching and searching are just another brand of outsider. Facing almost as much ridicule as Bigfoot hunters, Alien hunters rarely get any respect. They are persevered as silly, crazy folk. Yes, there’s the possibility that the green people are out there (I WANT TO BELIEVE) but no one, especially an over-educated, PhD should spend their lives waiting, listening to static out in the New Mexico desert. That said, Ellie, we get it. To chase something that may not be there, to yearn for the fantastic, is a calling. It’s a an answer to a question that only other people ask. To the person, to the devoted, there is no other option. There was never a question.

Yes, Contact, can read a little cheesy at times, but I’m alright with that. In the climax montage of Ellie’s journey through space, she sees a radio-transmission site on Vega, almost loses her compass, and falls (nauseatingly, I might add) through a few wormholes. And when she finally sees the “celestial event” about which she says they should have sent a poet, the camera zeroes in on her left eye, which to me is the most important statement of the movie.

I love how this movie takes the SciFi model and uses it as an entryway into the mind, into the self. Yes, Ellie must travel across the universe (literally) to see inside herself, to face her dead father, to come to terms with what happened to her. It’s a beautiful statement on the idea that once things become so big, they become exceptionally tiny, and vice versa. The universe contains our mind, and our mind, the universe. Through the wormhole, it’s all the same.

Trippy, pseudo-philosophies aside, Contact is a fun movie for SciFi nerds, movie buffs, or just fans of interesting storylines. Check it out if you haven’t seen it in awhile, and if you have never seen it, do yourself a favor and watch it. Also, check out a pretty fierce Angela Bassett as Rachel Constantine, the White House Chief of Staff.

The post The Film Cult Presents: Contact appeared first on Screen Junkies.

]]>
http://www.screenjunkies.com/movies/the-film-cult-presents-contact/feed/ 0 ContactMachine
Conan O’Brien Is Headed For the Big Screen (Sort Of) In Syfy’s ‘Sharktopus vs. Pteracuda’ http://www.screenjunkies.com/video/conan-obrien-is-headed-for-the-big-screen-sort-of-in-syfys-sharktopus-vs-pteracuda/ http://www.screenjunkies.com/video/conan-obrien-is-headed-for-the-big-screen-sort-of-in-syfys-sharktopus-vs-pteracuda/#comments Tue, 15 Jul 2014 18:20:33 +0000 Jared Jones http://www.screenjunkies.com/?post_type=video&p=263021 Whether it's Piranhacondas, Gatoroids, or Mansquitos, the Syfy channel has become the foremost creator of poorly-rendered monstrosities. Conan will fit right in.

The post Conan O’Brien Is Headed For the Big Screen (Sort Of) In Syfy’s ‘Sharktopus vs. Pteracuda’ appeared first on Screen Junkies.

]]>
By Jared Jones

What the Syfy channel’s line of original films may lack in competent acting, direction, writing, visual effects, lighting, sound, and craft services, they more than make up for in their ability to combine two giant creatures into one giant hybrid creature and have that giant hybrid creature fight another giant hybrid creature for our entertainment. Whether it’s Piranhacondas, Gatoroids, or Mansquitos, the Syfy channel has become the foremost creator of hybrid, poorly-rendered monstrosities — most notable among them being the Sharktopus, which was birthed unto this earth back in 2011 only to vanquished via brain bombs by noted thespian Eric Roberts shortly thereafter, Amen.

Regardless of the Sharktopus’ fate (or the film’s abysmal reception even among Syfy movies), the Syfy channel has announced plans to release *two* sequels featuring the half-shark half-octopus this year, starting with Sharktopus vs. Pteracuda. Given how much attention Syfy has received for Sharknado and its upcoming sequel, Sharknado 2: The Second One, it was only a matter of time before they started pulling in celebrities of a higher caliber than Jared the Subway Guy and Mark McGrath, right?

Ladies and gentlemen, I give you…

Yes, this is a real poster. In fact, it is one which Conan O’Brien actually had plastered on a Hollywood billboard to hype his upcoming cameo in Sharktopus vs. Pteracuda, which he announced on his show last night. It’s so goddamn glorious I think I might cry.

A quick look over O’Briens Wikipedia page reveals that he has never appeared in a live-action movie where he didn’t play himself. While it’s not known whether Conan will be donning an actual role in Sharktopus vs. Pteracuda or simply showing up to be eaten by one of the creatures, Joey Fatone in Jersey Shore Shark Attack-style, you can pretty much guarantee that this movie will go down as the most watched Syfy original film in the channel’s history thanks to the fierce dedication of #TeamCoco.

One can only hope that Sharktopus vs. Mermantula is able to pull a twofer and bring in both O’Brien and Chuck Norris as Walker, Texas Ranger.

The post Conan O’Brien Is Headed For the Big Screen (Sort Of) In Syfy’s ‘Sharktopus vs. Pteracuda’ appeared first on Screen Junkies.

]]>
http://www.screenjunkies.com/video/conan-obrien-is-headed-for-the-big-screen-sort-of-in-syfys-sharktopus-vs-pteracuda/feed/ 0 sharktopusconan
Lost Weekend: Underrated Time Travel Movies We Love http://www.screenjunkies.com/movies/genres-movies/scifi/lost-weekend-underrated-time-travel-movies-we-love/ http://www.screenjunkies.com/movies/genres-movies/scifi/lost-weekend-underrated-time-travel-movies-we-love/#comments Thu, 07 Jul 2011 21:49:57 +0000 Breakstudios http://www.screenjunkies.com/?p=219105 Let the arguments about the time-space continuum begin as these underrated time travel movies from the past get their day in the present, with a brief stop in the middle ages.

The post Lost Weekend: Underrated Time Travel Movies We Love appeared first on Screen Junkies.

]]>
Let the arguments about the time-space continuum begin as these underrated time travel movies from the past get their day in the present.  Mind bending questions await, such as how would a chainsaw hand replacement affect the course of technology if it were really introduced in 1300 A.D? Is traveling back in time just one hour enough time to actually cause unalterable disasters? Would you truly not recognize someone who looks exactly like you minus the mustache just because you live in the past and are therefore stupider? Just remember after any discussion to give that knowing wink to your opponent and let them know that even if you can’t convince them to see things your way, you just might have the 1.21 jigawatts needed to erase them—or at least set them on the ill-fated path to clown college.

 

Army of Darkness

Bruce Campbell being attacked by a demon ghoul

Whether you’re for or against time travel, if you’re against Bruce Campbell it’s time to go check into citizenship possibilities on other planets. Ash gets thrown back in time, gets to double his arrogance, teaches us all about the importance on high school text books and still manages to win the girl and lose the kingdom. Not necessarily a scientific portrait of time travel as it was magic that brought him back, regardless it offers vital world lessons as it’s the perfect primer on how to deal with less advanced civilizations. Army of Darkness also features a stirring treatise on confronting your inner demons and how to brutally kill them. A manly self-help kind of time travel movie.

 

Timecrimes

Hector with his head wrapped in Timecrimes

A definite feat of cinema, Timecrimes portrays the convoluted mess that time travel can create and yet manages to unravel it neatly. Without venturing into spoiler land, the protagonist Hector has a rough path ahead of him as he dips his toes into the past. With solid acting and a story that displays how creepy and entangling time travel can be, Timecrimes delivers so much more than its underrated movie status would make you believe.

 

Primer

Abe and Aaron with their error-checking device in Primer

A hybrid of science and human frailty, Primer does not dumb its concepts down to make them palatable to the audience,  and it also doesn’t bother making the characters do-gooders who have everyone’s best interests at heart. This is a film that is simultaneously confusing and understandable as the action taken by the charactersare all understandable to the the dark (and not-so-dark) parts of our brain. Although the scientific concepts behind it do require some graph paper and blood pressure medication to make your way through it, we think you will enjoy Primer.

 

Back to the Future Part III

Doc Brown and Marty McFly in his poncho in Back To The Future III

By the very nature of it being not just a sequel, but a sequel to a sequel, Back to the Future III already set itself to be counted among the underrated before it was even released. But forget all that because part three takes the fun of the previous films and throws it into overdrive. Future repercussions aside, it still remembers to explore how basic ideas that were once futuristic—like the bulletproof vest—can give those in the know a huge advantage in the past. But most of all it doesn’t forget the childlike wonder that time travel holds for everyone, no matter what age you’ve reached.

 

The Time Machine

H.G. Welles at his time machine

The original film from 1960 points out the flaws of man with an ergonomic office chair and umbrella hybrid. Underrated time travel at its best as the one thing that decays a film’s place in the collective conscious is the passage of time and it’s been more than half a century now. Despite effects losing their luster, The Time Machine explores the ignorance of humanity and how it breeds potential evil from the witch trials to the Eloi people who are content to trade being a food source in order to live lives without worry. The perspective remains sharp even in the present and serves as a concise lesson on the perils of growing complacent in our acquisition of knowledge.

The post Lost Weekend: Underrated Time Travel Movies We Love appeared first on Screen Junkies.

]]>
http://www.screenjunkies.com/movies/genres-movies/scifi/lost-weekend-underrated-time-travel-movies-we-love/feed/ 0 army_of_darkness Bruce Campbell being attacked by a demon ghoul timecrimes Hector with his head wrapped in Timecrimes primer Abe and Aaron with their error-checking device in Primer back_to_the_future_3 Doc Brown and Marty McFly in his poncho in Back To The Future III The Time Machine H.G. Welles at his time machine