Tag Archives: Science Fiction

Prometheus: Blu Ray Review

Prometheus is available on Blu Ray + DVD + Digital Copy on Oct. 9, 2012. Courtesy of 20th Century Fox


With a classic sci-fi/horror like Alien (1979), any movie associated with it will be viewed under extreme scrutiny. Luckily, Prometheus separates itself from the original by focusing on the science, while adding elements of horror to spice things up.

In Prometheus, a scientific discovery leads to a galactic exploration in an attempt to find the origins of humanity. As with many sci-fi flicksm, What they discover when they reach their destination is nothing close to what they expected.

Legendary director Ridley Scott, with the aid of writers Jon Spaihts and Damon Lindeloff, takes us on a journey that explores man’s greatest mystery: Where do we come from? Both director and writers achieve an incredible level of thought provoking ideas. However, they also left a lot of unexplored venues which prevent this movie from reaching the stratospheric acclaim of its predecessor.

Michael Fassbender is phenomenal in his role as the multi-layered android. Alongside him, Noomi Rapace shows equal skill in manifesting her character’s emotions (very reminiscent of Sigourney Weaver in 1979). While the rest of the cast is great, Charlize Theron completely lacked everything that was required to make her performance memorable. Mind you, it is hard to be memorable when your character appeared to be tacked on haphazardly.

For the Blu Ray + DVD + Digital Copy release, this movie is absolutely reference quality material, featuring breathtaking video and immersive audio. Special features include two entertaining audio commentaries: One from director Ridley Scott and one from writers Jon Spailhts and Damon Lindelof. There’s also a plethora of deleted/alternate scenes (with optional commentary), many of which deserved inclusion in the final cut, and a set of mini featurettes called The Peter Weyland Files. This last set serves as a great character development addition that is worth watching before viewing the film. If you’re looking for the 3D version and behind the scenes featurettes, pick up the four disc edition.

You can also download the Second Screen Movie App, which allows you to sync your tablet or smart phone with the movie and dive deeper into the film and its creation.

Bottom Line: This is a must own Blu Ray for fans of the movie and the sci-fi genre alike.

Movie Grade B+
Blu Ray Grade A

Runtime: 124 minutes
Aspect Ratio: 2.40:1


Check out The Engineer walking around Downtown Toronto:



Robot and Frank: You can’t help but love them

Frank Langella and Peter Sarsgaard star in Robot in Frank. Courtesy of Sony Pictures


As an elderly person in need of full time care, would you prefer to have a human or a robot take care of your day-to-day needs? What does the future hold for us in terms of humanitarian occupations in the service industry? Robot and Frank gives us a small peak into the potential of robotic care, simultaneously examining the day-to-day happenings of a former thief befriending his mechanical care giver.

Frank Langella delivers an entertaining and convincing performance as an aged man living with memory loss. His chemistry with both Robot and the ever wonderful Susan Sarandon adds layers to an already fantastic story.

Writer Christopher D. Ford and first time director Jake Shreier successfully knit a charming, multilayered film. They give us a rather tight look on Frank’s life and his mischievous adventures with Robot. It would have been nice to see the social ramifications the all-pervading robots have on society at large but that’s just a personal nitpick. Both writer and director molded tight relationships and a highly entertaining story that stays within you after the credits roll.

The special effects department worked marvels with Robot, who never once looked out of place or unconvincing.

Bottom Line: Looking for an original, entertaining, and well thought out film? Then Robot and Frank is exactly what you’re looking for.

Grade A-

Runtime: 90 minutes
IMAX: No
3D: No


Prometheus: A step below greatness

Logan Marshall-Green, Noomi Rapace, and Michael Fassbender star in Prometheus. Courtesy of Twentieth Century Fox


It’s difficult not to become completely encapsulated in an epic horror/sci-fi the likes of Ridley Scott’s Alien from 1979. With the standards set from that film, any movie associated with it will be viewed under extreme scrutiny. Luckily, Prometheus separates itself from the original by focusing on the science and adds elements of horror to spice things up.

In Prometheus, a scientific discovery leads to a galactic exploration to find the origins of humanity. What they find when they reach their destination is nothing close to what they expected.

Ridley Scott, the once legendary director, has returned to where his major success had initialized with classics like Blade Runner. With the aid of writers Jon Spaihts and Damon Lindeloff, Scott takes us on a journey that explores man’s greatest mystery: Where do we come from? Both director and writers achieve an incredible level of thought provoking ideas and thrilling storytelling. However, they also left a lot of unexplored venues which will prevent this movie from reaching the stratospheric acclaim of its predecessor.

Casting for this movie hit an almost perfect score with an excellent ensemble of actors to portray the various archetypes. Michael Fassbender is yet again phenomenal in his role as the multi-layered, intriguing android. Alongside him, Noomi Rapace shows equal skill in manifesting her character’s emotions (very reminiscent of Sigourney Weaver in 1979). While the rest of the cast was great, Charlize Theron completely lacked everything that was required to make her performance memorable. Mind you, it is hard to be memorable when your character appeared to be tacked on haphazardly.

The cinematography is beautiful, but the musical score lacked atmosphere to really provide punch to crucial moments.

Scott’s use of the added 3rd dimension works phenomenally. The entire film viewed through 3D glasses delivered the most realistic “looking through a window” effect to date. Definitely worth the additional cost.

Bottom Line: No matter how great this film appears to be, the nagging flaws keep it from becoming an epic classic.

Grade B+

Runtime: 124 minutes
IMAX: Yes
3D: Yes


Lockout: Not perfect, but fun

Guy Pearce and Maggie Grace star in the sci-fi action, LOCKOUT. Courtesy of Alliance Films


Science fiction films have brought eye opening ideas and experiences to movie goers for generations. Chances are these stories have probably made you ponder the possibility of a Utopian and/or apocalyptic future at some point or another. Along the darker lines, Lockout examines how we may handle our convicts in the not too distant future.

In the year 2079, convicted ex-government agent Snow (Guy Pearce) fights to clear his name and his freedom by venturing into space to rescue the U.S. President’s daughter who is being held hostage.

Guy Pearce (Prometheus, Memento) is too much fun in this role. His countless, hilarious one-liners add the perfect light-hearted touch to this adventure. Other notables include Maggie Grace (Taken), who shows a welcome maturity in her performance, and Joseph Gilgun (Harry Brown) as the psychotic, charismatic inmate.

The directing team of James Mather and Stephen St. Leger co-wrote the original screenplay with Luc Besson (Taken, The Fifth Element). Inexperience is present in their direction, but they got enough right to keep it enjoyable. It is because the movie doesn’t take itself too seriously that keeps the audience interested.

The special effects on the other hand…not so much. There’s a fair bit of CGI-heavy scenes throughout the movie, not all of which were necessary and some of which looked dreadful.

As a cinematic experience, this needs a lot of polishing, but there’s a solid amount of fun in there too.

Bottom Line: If you’re in the mood for an 80’s style action/sci fi, this movie will take you on the right ride.

Grade C+

Runtime: 95 minutes
IMAX: No
3D: No