Tag Archives: Science Fiction

The Cartoon Physicist’s Noughtie List: The Very Late Second Anniversary

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Cinema Dispatch: Ghost in the Shell

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Ghost in the Shell and all the images you see in this review are owned by Paramount Pictures

Directed by Rupert Sanders

Honestly?  I’ve been looking forward to this movie for months!  Now that’s not to say I thought it would be GOOD as the trailers didn’t seem to have much going for them, but there’s always hope that a property this primed for a big budgeted thrust into the mainstream will bring something interesting to the cinematic landscape, and even if that fails it will at least create a renewed interest in the original franchise and possibly some interest in making more movies like it.  I’m not the only one hoping for another live Action Dragon Ball, right?  As bad as Evolution is, it’s at least ENTERTAININGLY horrible!  So does this manage to subvert expectations and ACTUALLY be a solid entry in the Ghost in the Shell franchise, or was this project doomed from the start?  Let’s find out!!

In the near future where this movie takes place, we’ve successfully been able to recreate Deus Ex as the human population is becoming increasingly more mechanized through robotic augmentations and cybernetic implants.  However, now that every Average Joe can have a bazooka grafted onto their arm, Future Tokyo (at least I think that’s where this is set) has created a new Government Security Force known simply as Section 9 which deals with terrorist threats raised by Bionic Bad Guys!  One such Bad Guy is Kuze (Michael Pitt) who’s been offing several robotic scientists who work for the Hanka Robotics corporations, and it’s up to The Major (Scarlett Johansson) along with her team of Section 9 bad asses to stop him!  At least that seems to be the idea, but as the investigation goes on, The Major starts to question if she’s been told everything or if secrets are being kept from her.  You see, she’s basically just a brain in a metal casing which means she’s the most augmented-est person in the whole world, but that might not be ENTIRELY the truth.  Can The Major uncover the truth behind these mysterious killings and the motivations of the terrorist behind them?  What will she find once she digs a bit deeper into her past!?  Most importantly… how did they manage to make this feel so uninspired!?

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“BANG!  I guess…”

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Cinema Dispatch: Rogue One: A Star Wars Story

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Rogue One: A Star Wars Story and all the images you see in this review are owned by Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures

Directed by Gareth Edwards

In what will surely be a yearly tradition until the day we all die, Disney has given us our holiday present in the form of another Star Wars movie.  We’re only at two so far which means they PROBABLY aren’t gonna start half-assing these just yet, and in fact this one seems to be willing to take a few more risks than what we would normally expect from franchise features like this.  Okay, the fact that it’s a one-time spin off means that they’re only so much damage this can do if it blows up in their faces, but the tone of the trailers and the nature of the story they’re telling at least inspires some hope that the franchise has gotten so big that they’re willing to let it take some chances.  Does this experiment in growing the series turn out to be a total success, or will this somehow be the worst prequel yet?  Okay, I kind of doubt that’s even possible, but you never know!

The movie begins a long time ago in a galaxy far far away where little Jyn Erso (Beau Gadsdon) has her life completely uprooted when her family is found by Orson Krennic (Ben Mendelsohn) who is a high ranking member of the galactic empire.  Why did this guy hunt halfway around the galaxy for them?  Well it turns out that Jyn’s father Galen (Mads Mikkelsen) is an Empire scientist who defected and they need him back to finish some super weapon they’re working on.  The good news is that Jyn manages to escape the Empire with the help of a family friend Saw Gerrera (Forest Whitaker).  The bad news is that her mother (Valene Kane) got killed in the process and dear old dad got kidnapped.  Flash forward to sometime later where we meet grown up Jyn (Felicity Jones) who’s been rebellious youth-ing all around the galaxy and winds up at Rebel headquarters where they have a proposition for her.  Go with the rebel agent Cassian Andor (Diego Luna) to find her father and stop him from finishing the Death Star as he seems to be looking for a way out once again.  Okay, it’s not QUITE that simple, but that’s the basic idea of what they’re trying to do!  Anyway, they’ll point her in the right direction in the hopes that her skills and connections will kill two birds with one stone; she gets her dad back and they get to stop the Space Nuke from being completed.  Of course, nothing is as easy as it seems and there’s plenty of treachery to go around as the mission becomes only more difficult once the Empire get wind of what they might be up to.  Can Jyn save her farther before the Empire find out if he’s been undercutting their progress on the super weapon this entire time?  Does Cassian have a hidden agenda that he’s not telling Jyn about?  On a scale of one to Vader, how screwed are they?

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I think she’s got this!

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Cinema Dispatch: Self/less

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Self/less and all the images you see in this review are owned by Focus Features and Gramercy Pictures

Directed by Tarsem Singh

When did we get to the point that great actors like Sir Ben Kingsley and Ryan Reynolds are EXPECTED to be in crap like this?  Sure, Ben Kingsley at least has been on a downward slope for a while now, but does anyone else remember that Ryan Reynolds was HUGE just a few years ago?  I guess this is what happens when you somehow wind up in three of the worst comic book movies at a time when they’ve never been better.  Now he’s in yet another body switching film, only this one might just be worse than his last one if you can believe it.  Just how bad is this movie about Ben Kingsley turning into a thirty something white dude?  Let’s find out!!

The movie is about Damien Hale (Ben Kingsley) who’s a billionaire architect or something and is nearing the end of his life.  He has pretty cancer which is known to affect people in movies and it tends to present itself with absolutely zero external symptoms other than a bad cough.  Being the rich dude that he is, he finds a way to cheat death in the form of a brand new super-duper secret medical procedure called “shedding” where you basically swap brains with someone else through magnets.  Sounds like a good deal, right?  WRONG!!  Apparently this super-duper secret company doing these super-duper secret medical procedures has some skeletons in its closet and Gandhi in Green Lantern’s body is going to kick some ass until he gets the answers he needs!

“WHY DIDN’T YOU TELL ME ANY OF THIS!?!?”     “Why didn’t you check the FAQs page on the website!?  We put it up there for a reason!!”

“WHY DIDN’T YOU TELL ME ANY OF THIS!?!?”     “Why didn’t you check the FAQs page on the website!?  We put it up there for a reason!!”

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