Terminator Genisys feels like a superfluous do-over for a franchise whose glory days are long behind it

2 Stars (2 / 5)

2015 has so far been the year of the long-awaited sequel, from the motorized mayhem of Mad Max: Fury Road to the dino disaster flick that was Jurassic World.

Compared to the time that’s passed since the character of Max Rockatansky, and Islas Nublar and Sorna, last appeared on our screens — 29 years and 14 years respectively — it seems like only yesterday that we failed to thrill to the dubious charm (or lack thereof) of Terminator: Salvation.…

Chappie: more bats**t conceptual sci-fi from Neil Blomkamp

2.5 Stars (2.5 / 5)

 

Forget about Paul Verhoeven. Step aside, the Wachowskis. There’s a new master in town when it comes to bats**t conceptual sci-fi.

South African director Neil Blomkamp is well known for his allegorical social commentary – apartheid in District 9, health care and the 1% in Elysium – but the underpinnings of Chappie are mainly philosophical.…

Predestination is a slick, hermetically-sealed sci-fi treat

3 Stars (3 / 5)

 

Is there any genre with more potential for ideas than sci-fi?

Not restricted to the realms of the realistic or the possible, yet generally ruled by the same forces that make our world tick, science fiction is a way of deconstructing the human experience, of really getting to the heart of our identity, who we are, where we’re going. …

Jupiter Ascending aims for the stars and ends up burying itself

1 Stars (1 / 5)

 

Arthur C. Clarke famously wrote that “Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic”.

By the same token, any sufficiently misconceived work of science fiction is apparently indistinguishable from utter bollocks. Case in point: the Wachowski’s latest bloated epic, Jupiter Ascending; a film that substitutes the interconnectedness of the flawed but ambitious Cloud Atlas for a story with just as much scope and infinitely less point.…

Guardians of the Galaxy could be a brave new world for Marvel

3.5 Stars (3.5 / 5)

 

Having come to define the superhero genre, after nine films and six years, Marvel has finally dared to go a little weird.

While there’s a definite built-in audience for the likes of Iron Man and Captain America, the Guardians of the Galaxy are relative unknowns.…

Edge of Tomorrow makes respawning fun

3.5 Stars (3.5 / 5)

 

If at first you don’t succeed, get covered in boiling alien blood and try, try again.

What the forgettably titled Edge of Tomorrow most reminds us, however, is that Tom Cruise is at his best when not playing an outright hero.…

X-Men: Days Of Future Past is like a dog chasing its tail – fun but circuitous

3.5 Stars (3.5 / 5)

 

It’s been fourteen years since the X-Men franchise first graced our cinema screens.

That’s roughly the length of time it took Star Trek to go from The Motion Picture to Generations, the film when we finally bade farewell to William Shatner’s Captain James T.…

Godzilla (2014) is like a storm on the horizon

3.5 Stars (3.5 / 5)

 

How many films is it possible to make about a giant rampaging lizard?

An idea may be all in the execution – after all, how many films can you make about a Walther-packing, martini-swilling super-spy? – but the need to have buildings crumble and people scream surely serves as something of a limiting factor.…

Transcendence gets stuck in the existential mud

2 Stars (2 / 5)

As grand themes go, self-awareness is certainly one of the grandest. Descartes’ famous proposition “I think therefore I am” is arguably the foundation of all Western philosophy.

After all, without self, without thought, there can be no perception therefore no knowledge.…

Under The Skin gets to the heart of what it means to be human

5 Stars (5 / 5)

 

For a film that features Scarlett Johansson as a skin-stealing alien seductress, there’s nothing remotely titillating about Under the Skin.

Based on a book by Scottish immigrant Michel Faber, it’s Jonathan Glazer’s first film since Birth back in 2004.…