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Posts Tagged ‘Sci-fi’

The Destruction of Redder Coltrane

Force Six, The Annihilators…

Force Six The Annihilators book cover

Step forth and accept your annihilation

The Destruction of Redder Coltrane

Story and Art by Drew Spence

The Destruction of Redder Coltrane presents  a collected packaging of season I, the main story arc. We see Jackie-Five,  Fire Destiny and Kojin Ahsaguri confronting Redder Coltrane and his band of criminal outlaws. When the smoke clears, you’ll be fully clear on what it means to be an Annihilator. It’s 150 pages of full color action. The tale, tones and tints are done by Drew Spence.

If you’ve been following the moves at The Dynamic Universe, then you know this is the big plot path of season I. Before we head into the final and finale curve, we combine several episodes into its own book. This will be a thing that happens fairly often.

 

Thanks for all your support. – Drew Spence

Movie Review The Last Days On Mars (2013)

The Last Days On Mars

 

Mission to Mars with Monsters – and I liked it

 

The Last Days on Mars movei poster

“The Last Days” for the mission….and the crew!

        I honesty don’t feel like writing a review for The Last Days On Mars, but I’m compelled to do so because the reviews on Amazon.com are so negative. There’s the ego aspect – where it becomes a matter of why anyone would care what I say about this movie. And then there’s the aspect of sharing a movie and hoping someone else sees it and enjoys a small gem that they might have otherwise missed. That’s why we’re here. I have recently seen Captain America: The Winter Soldier and really enjoyed it, but you don’t need a review from me to go see it. Everyone is going to see it — anyone with a passing interest in the superhero resurgence will…go…see…it. The Last Days On Mars deserves a push.

 

Marred Mars Mission

The plot involves a crew sent to Mars in search of life. It’s literally their last day on Mars when a sensor lead leads a history-grabbing team member to make a last-ditch effort to secure his place in history by recording the find first. The site is compromised and his infection sets off the major arc of the movie. As every reviewer has documented; this is essentially a zombie movie that takes place on Mars. As I stated in my review of Apollo 18, the hostile environment adds a new dimension to the perils that this crew must overcome in order to return home. It’s a crew on the brink versus an infected zombie force- verse the dangers of planetary exploration – you know, lack of breathable atmosphere and stuffs.

 

Ruairi Robinson (who I am not familiar with) directs Liev Schreiber (Sabertooth in X-Men Origins Wolverine and Ray Donovan, the TV series) as astronaut Vincent Cambell – he alone holds this movie together with his acting abilities and as the most fleshed out character. Some of the others have that writer’s crutch of a character that behaves, in a way, out of line with their supposed job title. Prometheus (reviewed here) suffers the same fate as you ask “Would a [insert the thing you are supposedly trained to do] act this way?” So a few points are lost as you scream at the screen You Idiot! followed by Serves you right! I mean, it’s a common plot-device to portray characters – so that you are okay with their deaths. They almost deserve it for being so stupid and making such dumb decisions. Maybe that’s okay for the horny teens or the inquisitive homeowner who hears a bump in the night, but for astronauts to slip up- it’s a tough sell. I mean, it’s what you were sent there for, why you trippin?

 

Mars in Motion Emotion

Despite that, there are a few emotionally gripping scenes where all the parts fit together nicely. It’s the music, plus the mayhem captured in a moment that makes this movie worth the memory. The soundtrack is used to solid effect as the backdrop support rises to epic proportions along with the climactic confrontations. Although I enjoyed this movie, it does suffer from not going hard in any direction. It’s not really about Mars-zombies so if you want to see the shambling-mumbling-brains, you’ll be disappointed. If you want the hard science of space operations and a realistic depiction of Mars exploration, well yeah, you’ll fall short. Well, what’s the big idea then? I don’t think there is one. There isn’t any big reveal like the end of Mission To Mars. There isn’t a single morality-heavy speech made by a character that underlies the thing you’re supposed to be taking home after the credits roll. Yes, we went to Mars in search of life, found it and things didn’t quite work out as we expected. Be careful: you may find what you are looking for. That’s the moral of the story.

 

If you can enjoy a sci-fi tale with a simple presentation, give The Last Days On Mars a chance. If you must have extremes to be satisfied, then I suggest flicks that put the zombies on the poster. This one had astronauts and that scene was pretty meaningful. I’m not a movie critic, I just critique movies.

Movie Review: Europa Report (2013)

Movie Review: Europa Report (2013)

It’s Mission to Mars Europa with found footage… and a hard Sci-fi edge.

Europa Report Poster

Plot Summary: Footage from a failed mission to discover life on Jupiter’s moon, Europa is used to answer the most important question in the universe…are we alone?

Somewhere between the classic Arthur C Clarke novel Rendezvous with Rama and the Grand Tour novels by Ben Bova, I fell in love with the planets. Reading the vivid descriptions of their surface and atmosphere filled me with a sense of awe and wonder. In works like Jupiter, Venus, Mercury, and Saturn, Bova brings us the planetary system- scaled up in its cosmic-magnitude. We are there to witness…miracles and to become tourists seeing sites and sights only meant for gods and angels.

Hard Sci-fi delivers the extraordinary in a believable fashion. We stay rooted to real-world physics and the limits of our material universe are not to be circumvented by techno-babble. We need to understand what we don’t understand. That pulls us in to the story and also pushes mankind out and to the dangerous reaches of space to find answers about us from them. Them is always the concept of life or intelligence. In movies like Mission to Mars and Red Planet, we find the discovery of life to be the central goal with numerous and unforeseen perils thrown in. A sub-title of Kubrick’s 2001: A Space Odyssey is “An epic drama of adventure and exploration”. That’s the idea of director Sebastian Cordero and screenplay writer Philip Gelatt. I had never seen any of their previous work so I bought in not knowing what to expect. I’m very glad I did.

I recently covered Apollo 18 -using the same style of found footage, with the viewer piecing together the entire story, which slowly paces towards a revealing climax. Where Apollo 18 was played for horror, Europa Report plays for hard. We have the familiar broken feeds, the camera failing at inopportune times and the constant glitches and even the prospect of being stranded a million miles from home.

Europa Report Space Walk scene

The cost of curiosity may be too high a price to pay

Command Crew

The crew is quite believable and we have actors fleshing out familiar characters with Sharlto Copley [District 9] and Michael Nyqvist [The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo 2009]. The hardware and footage feels authentic and that leads to a nice level of immersion. There’s a small moment of…upset when you find the crew ‘pushing it’ and your stomach knots up as you start thinking ‘get the hell outta there’. That reminds me of an episode of Star Trek where Captain Kirk takes in an opinion from Bones McCoy who votes for survival. Kirk snaps on the P.A. and reminds everyone that theirs is a mission of discovery and personal safety is not part of the prime directive. If you can appreciate that attitude then you will enjoy the core theme of Europa Report. Mission to Mars dropped the space rock a bit with the overly done big-reveal ending. Europa Report avoids this by staying true to its hard Sci-fi roots and allowing small events to have major impact. If you enjoy your science fiction leaning more towards science and enjoy the journey that a well written novel takes you on, see Europa Report. It’s was certainly worth the trip for them and it is certainly worth the trip for you.

These are a few other reviewed movies that gave me a similar feeling.

Apollo 18 (although horror-themed)

Oblivion

Solaris

and Moon (2009)