Top Ten Unpopular Opinions – Movies!

A banner with the words The Top Ten Tuesday List on it.For our final (for now) movie-oriented post, we admit it, we’re aiming to get people outraged with our unpopular opinions. You’re welcome to try to change our minds. It’ll be akin to the wolf blowing on the brick house, but you’re welcome to try nonetheless.

And, as a bonus (we did have to get at least ten of something in, somehow), we’ve chosen to poke at some of the more popular actors who aren’t exactly oozing the ability to diversify their roles, if you know what we mean.

Top Ten Tuesday is hosted by Broke and Bookish and is generally book-oriented. However, they’re on vacation until August 15th, so we’re tuning in to movies for a little while longer.

 

 

 

 

5 Movies We Hold the Unpopular Opinion On

Herbert West – Reanimator – I often see this movie on lists of best Lovecraftian movies. Besides the name, I don’t see any kind of resemblance between the two. West, in my opinion, is more akin to a splatter-fest than the creeping, dread typically inspired by Lovecraft’s works. I also have yet to see one naked woman (or anything else) in Lovecraft’s works. Call me a snobby purist but in my opinion this movie could not be farther from Lovecraft.       

Star Wars – Seriously? What is it about this movie. I mean, it’s got a few good quotable lines, but I just don’t see it. Every one I’ve seen has struggled to hold my attention. It’s not necessarily that I think they suck horribly, I just don’t understand why everyone thinks they’re so awesome.

The Shining – No, not the remake. I really like the remake. It’s more faithful to the book and I think Steven Weber plays Jack Torrance far better than Jack Nicholson. Nicholson does not portray Jack as someone slowly going mad from the hotel’s influence, he looks crazier than a loon before he even gets there. I’m not even going to mention Shelley Duvall’s performance. Rebecca De Mornay plays a much, much better Wendy. This is something that has always bugged me when it comes to books and movies. If you’re going to gut it and try to create your own story with it then don’t try to ‘buy’ it an audience using the popularity of the book. As a totally separate entity the first movie is passable as a  horror movie. I honestly don’t think it deserves the ‘genius’ status it has attained. As an adaptation from the book? It sucks.

The Core – This movie has a 33% on Rotten Tomatoes. How is this possible? It’s ridiculous – but not B-movie, no -budget ridiculous. It has one of the best death scenes ever (Isaacs’ character in the compartment). Aaron Eckhart, Hilary Swank, Jason Isaacs, and Delroy Lindo shouldn’t work together as well as they do, but they’re a sheer delight to see on the screen. I think the haters just have issues with the earth getting drilled by a massive phallic object loaded with geniuses. You’d much rather them be dinglebury drillers on an asteroid. But, see, the geniuses save the earth with their brains. The dinglebury drillers just don’t know when to quit. Go-get-’em can only get you so far.

Maximum Overdrive – A 17% on Rotten Tomatoes makes us think that all y’all who voted it down just aren’t right in the head! Maximum Overdrive is beyond awesome. If you can look at the movie poster, title and synopsis and watch it expecting a deep and thoughtful story then I don’t know what to tell you.

 

 

 

Small Sci-Fi and Scary Divider

5  Actors Who Have Embraced Their Typecast

It seems like whenever you hear actors talking about their breakout roles in Hollywood, you also hear about their fear of being typecast. It is a valid fear, as witnessed by stars like Adam West. However, some of these actors seem to have embraced their typecast with wild abandon. At one point each of them could probably act, but now… Well, let’s just say there’s a sinking suspicion that their egos outpaced their abilities about 15 movies ago. And one bonus.

The Good Guy Who Was Done Wrong and Overcomes (With His Motorcycle) – Tom Cruise. Let’s face it, Mission Impossible did Tom Cruise all sorts of wrong. Before that, he played in a few interesting roles.  After Mission Impossible, though, well, the man knows what rakes in the money, doesn’t he? (Jack Reacher, Edge of Tomorrow)

Alternate role: Hotshot at -insert profession here-. (Top Gun, Jerry Maguire)

He Who Needs Rescued – Matt Damon. We’re definitely not the first to point this out, but oh, how very true it is.  (Saving Private Ryan, The Martian)

Alternate Role: The Unlikely Hero (Great Wall, Elysium)

The Smarmy Con – George Clooney. The man has a plan, and if everyone just listens to him, they will all be on Easy street! (Oceans 11, Dusk Til Dawn)

Alternate Role: The Military Man (Three Kings, The Men Who Stare at Goats)

Conspiracies, Conspiracies Everywhere! Man Denzel Washington. He’s the most innocent, sweet man on Earth but everyone’s always out to get him, one way or another and nobody will believe him. (Ricochet, The Manchurian Candidate)

Alternate Role: Man on the Run (Man on Fire, John Q)

The Genius- Benedict Cumberbatch. Alright, this one is kind of tongue in cheek because I actually really enjoy watching Benedict Cumberbatch’s movies, but, c’moooooon. Sherlock? Genius. Doctor Strange? Genius. The Imitation Game? Genius.

Alternate Role: Asshole (Star Trek, Black Mass)

Bonus Actor:

Cocky, Cynical, Know-it-All – Robert Downey Jr. Don’t get me wrong, I really like RDJ but really, his character is usually the same. A cocky know-it-all who isn’t afraid to say, “I’m better than you. At everything.” (Iron Man, Zodiac)

                Alternate Role: Slimy Schemer (Natural Born Killers)


Hopefully we made you laugh. Tell us, do you share our unpopular opinions? And what leading ladies are (happily) typecast in your opinion?

This is Sci-Fi, Issue 8: Thrawn, Avengers of the Moon, and Cyber Implants

The banner for the bi-weekly This is Sci-Fi post on Sci-Fi & ScaryThis is Sci-Fi is a sampling of science fiction news across the mediums. From movies to books, to real life, and any bits in between that I can think of to list. This is by no means a comprehensive list of what’s happening, but it should whet your appetite!

 

This is Sci-Fi’s Quote to Consider

“I have never listened to anyone who criticized my taste in space travel, sideshows or gorillas. When this occurs, I pack up my dinosaurs and leave the room.”

― Ray Bradbury, Zen in the Art of Writing

 

Science Fiction Movies

Sci-Fi Movie Suggestion of the Week:

Movie Poster for The Day After TomorrowThe Day After Tomorrow: It’s no secret that I love this movie. It’s the perfect movie to put on when you need low-key background stuff without loud jarring music and the whatnot. I’ve fallen asleep watching it probably fifty times by now. However, the reason I’m recommending it as the sci-fi movie suggestion of the week is simple – it’s cli-fi, and cli-fi is increasingly relevant. Four days ago I was wrapping up my little Japanese Maple to keep it from getting frost bitten. Two days later I was outside in shorts, weeding the garden and sweating. That’s all sorts of just wrong. But, hey, climate change isn’t real! (And if you believe that, I got a piece of ocean front property in Ohio you’d love to buy!)

Synopsis: Jack Hall, paleoclimatologist, must make a daring trek across America to reach his son, trapped in the cross-hairs of a sudden international storm which plunges the planet into a new Ice Age.

Watch The Day After Tomorrow trailer.

 

Science Fiction movies Opening This Week (April 14th):

Movie poster for Spark A Space TailSpark: A Space Tail Synopsis: Spark, a teenage monkey, and his friends, Chunk and Vix, are on a mission to regain Planet Bana – a kingdom overtaken by the evil overlord Zhong.

Starring:  Jessica Biel, Susan Sarandon, Patrick Stewart

Watch the Spark: A Space Tail trailer.

 

 

 

Still in Theaters:

Ghost in the ShellSee our review.

Power RangersSee our review.


Featured Sci-Fi Art


M.E.S.T. Convoy by St-Pete on DeviantArt

It’s a simple scene, and until you look at it twice, nothing appears out of the ordinary. Then you notice the vaguely transformer-ish looks to the convoy, and it’s sheer size against the figure in the front.


Burgess Meredith – IMDB Photo

The Sci-Fi Zone: Burgess Meredith

 

Burgess Meredith was a familiar face on the Twilight Zone. His roles ranged from the put-upon reader who only wants a little time to read, to a man rendered Obsolete by a harsh future and the Devil himself. Besides the Twilight Zone he was no stranger to science-fiction. He was very versatile and it’s easy to see why he would become a regular on Twilight Zone. Below are Burgess Meredith’s Top Science Fiction Appearances (links are all to IMDB.)

 

   Top Ten Science Fiction Roles of Burgess Meredith

 

 

  1. Lights Out: Martian Eyes
  1. Tales of Tomorrow: The Great Silence
  1. Twilight Zone: Time Enough at Last
  1. Twilight Zone: Mr. Dingle the Strong
  1. Twilight Zone: The Obsolete Man
  1. The Invaders: Wall of Crystal
  1. Twilight Zone: The Movie
  1. Night Gallery: Finnegan’s Flight
  1. Night Gallery: Room with a View/Little Black Bag/The Nature of the Enemy
  1. The Amazing Captain Nemo (movie)

 

These are just a few of his roles. My personal favorite (besides the Twilight Zone episodes, of course) is his voice work on Puff, the Magic Dragon.


Science Fiction Books

Book cover Best Science Fiction of the Year Volume 2 The Best Science Fiction of the Year Vol 2: Night Shade Books is proud to introduce the latest volume of The Best Science Fiction of the Year, a new yearly anthology compiled by Hugo and World Fantasy award–winning editor Neil Clarke, collecting the finest that the genre has to offer, from the biggest names in the field to the most exciting new writers.

The best science fiction scrutinizes our culture and politics, examines the limits of the human condition, and zooms across galaxies at faster-than-light speeds, moving from the very near future to the far-flung worlds of tomorrow in the space of a single sentence. Clarke, publisher and editor in chief of the acclaimed and award-winning magazine Clarkesworld, has selected the short science fiction (and only science fiction) best representing the previous year’s writing, showcasing the talent, variety, and awesome “sensawunda” that the genre has to offer.

 

 

 

Book cover for Avengers of the MoonAvengers of the Moon: The solar system needs a hero and it’s about to get one in an old-fashioned pulp adventure with modern sensibility.

It was an age of miracles. It was an era of wonder. It was a time of troubles. It was all these things and more . . . except there were no heroes. Naturally, one had to be created.

Curt Newton has spent most of his life hidden from the rest of humankind, being raised by a robot, an android, and the disembodied brain of a renowned scientist. This unlikely trio of guardians has kept his existence a closely guarded secret since the murder of Curt’s parents. Curt’s innate curiosity and nose for trouble inadvertently lead him into a plot to destabilize the Solar Coalition and assassinate the president. There’s only one way to uncover the evil mastermind—Curt must become Captain Future.

With the permission of the Edmond Hamilton estate, Allen Steele revives the exciting adventures of Captain Future.

 

Book cover for Proof of Concept by Gwyneth JonesProof of Concept: On a desperately overcrowded future Earth, crippled by climate change, the most unlikely hope is better than none. Governments turn to Big Science to provide them with the dreams that will keep the masses compliant. The Needle is one such dream, an installation where the most abstruse theoretical science is being tested: science that might make human travel to a habitable exoplanet distantly feasible.

When the Needle’s director offers her underground Kir Heilsen’s people as a training base, Heilesen is thrilled to be invited to join the team, even though she knows it’s only because her brain is host to an AI called Altair.But Altair knows something he can’t tell. Kir, like all humans, is programmed to ignore future dangers. Between the artificial blocks in his mind, and the blocks evolution has built into his host, how is he going to convince her the sky is falling?

See our review.

 

 

A conversation about fat naked cats got me thinking about Jabba the Hut, which means you lucky guys and gals get Star Wars for this Focus!

Book cover for Star Wars: Aftermath Book cover for Star Wars: Shadows of the Empire Book cover for Star Wars: Heir to the Empire

 


Science Fiction on the Web

 

Everything Old is New Again by Michael Drakich

When I was considering guest posts for Science Fiction Month, I knew instantly that I wanted to try to get Michael Drakich, author of I AM. He had done such a fantastic job on his novel that months later it still stood out in my mind. Happily, he agreed to write something for Sci-Fi & Scary, and here we are. We present Everything Old is New Again by Michael Drakich.

Continue reading “Everything Old is New Again by Michael Drakich”