Archive for the Sci-Fi Cinema Category

Another Earth

Posted in Sci-Fi Cinema with tags , , , , on January 1, 2012 by Cristina Blackwater

Another Earth – 2011

 

plot: Rhoda Williams, a bright young woman accepted into MIT’s astrophysics program, aspires to explore the cosmos. A brilliant composer, John Burroughs, has just reached the pinnacle of his profession and is about to have a second child with his loving wife. On the eve of the discovery of a duplicate Earth, tragedy strikes and the lives of these strangers become irrevocably intertwined. Estranged from the world and the selves they once knew, the two outsiders begin an unlikely love affair and reawaken to life. But when one is presented with the chance of a lifetime opportunity to travel to the other Earth and embrace an alternative reality, which new life will they choose? 

Another Earth is a 2011 American science fantasy/drama film directed by Mike Cahill in his feature film debut. The film stars William Mapother and Brit Marling. It premiered at the 27th Sundance Film Festival in January 2011. It was released in dramatic competition. Variety reported, “[It] has been deemed one of the more highly praised pics of the fest as it received a standing ovation after the screening and strong word of mouth from buyers and festgoers.”

this movie is so beautiful and touching. every outcast loner will identify with some aspect of it. Rhoda is a girl who did something terrible and unforgivable, but who is trying to find forgiveness one day at a time. we watch her struggle and grow and make mistakes trying to mend the old ones. i almost don’t want to say much of anything about the actual story development. i found it somehow similar to Primer (one of my favorite movies of all times), although the two movies have very little in common.

one day a new planet appears in the sky. as time goes by, and the planet moves closer and closer, it is discovered that it is an exact mirror planet to ours, an Earth II, if you will. not only the planet is identical, but as first contact is achieved, we also find out that Earth II is inhabited by duplicate versions of ourselves who mirror our earthly circumstances. Rhoda starts a deep inner journey. did her mirror self commit the same mistakes?

i found many other reviews out there to be misleading to say the least. Another Earth is neither a cut and dry sci-fi nor a romantic movie. it’s not about a love story, and it’s not about life on another planet. the sci-fi theme is a contour for a beautiful (i know I’m repeating myself with this word but there is just so much beauty in this movie), in-depth exploration of the frailty of the human heart, particularly to the way us outcasts feel about emotions, and the world around us. is another world just the next step of running away from our problems? like changing city and start anew, but on a bigger scale? or can there be redemption, real redemption, on the other side?

from wikipedia: The idea behind Another Earth first developed out of director Mike Cahill and actress Brit Marling speculating as to what it would be like were one to encounter one’s own self. In order to explore the possibility on a large scale, they devised the concept of a duplicate Earth. The visual representation of the duplicate planet was deliberately made to evoke the Moon, as Cahill was deeply inspired by the 1969 Apollo 11 lunar landing. the movie was shot in the director’s hometown to cut down expenses. William Mapother consented to work on Another Earth for $100 a day, being strongly drawn by the film’s subject.

once again, indie cinema seems to pull all the right strings to my heart.

Source Code

Posted in Sci-Fi Cinema with tags , , , , , on June 24, 2011 by Cristina Blackwater

Source Code – 2011

plot: When decorated soldier Captain Colter Stevens wakes up in the body of an unknown man, he discovers he’s part of a mission to find the bomber of a Chicago commuter train. In an assignment unlike any he’s ever known, he learns he’s part of a government experiment called the Source Code, a program that enables him to cross over into another man’s identity in the last 8 minutes of his life. With a second, much larger target threatening to kill millions in downtown Chicago, Colter re-lives the incident over and over again, gathering clues each time, until he can solve the mystery of who is behind the bombs and prevent the next attack.

hello there! long time no see! this time i’m not even gonna try to come up with an excuse for my long, way too long silence; i have none. i could tell you about how busy i was dividing my life between 3 different countries for the past few months but really, that’s not good enough. i got lazy. then my dearest friend Cherry gave me the great gift of a Little Otsu film diary et voilà, i was inspired to write again. here we go!

Source Code is a 2011 movie directed by Ducan Jones – for those of you who don’t know, he’s the very talented son of mr David Bowie and director of instant sci-fi cult movie Moon – and starring Jake Gyllenhaal, Michelle Monaghan and Vera Farmiga. i was so sad when i first watched the trailer, because it made the movie look awful. luckily though, i found out that i’ve never seen anything more misleading! from said trailer, what you expect is a big budget, extremely boring action movie, like so, so many other Hollywood productions.. when in reality the movie is a really amazing.

Colter Stevens wakes up on train speaking to a woman called Christina (great name choice, btw!) who calls him Sean, and has no idea what is going on. he goes into a bathroom, looks in the mirror, and finds out that the image he is looking at is that of another man (Sean). a few  minutes later, the train bursts into flames

 

next, Stevens wakes up in a military capsule talking through a monitor to fellow soldier Goodwin. he then finds out that the accident he just experienced is a recent terrorist attack, that appears to be only the prologue to another, much bigger, one about to happen in the heart of Chicago. he also finds out to be assigned to an experimental project called Source Code, and that his mission is to go back in time and find the person responsible for the bombing. in order to do so, the program allows him to continuously relive the last 8 minutes of Sean’s life on the train to find the terrorist. kinda like Groundhog Day, but sci-fi thriller badass style.

As Stevens keeps going back to the train and keeps being blown up while tries to solve the case, he also kinda falls for the girl (Christina) and so this character is now burdened with approximately a million tasks: he has to save the day, save the world, be a good soldier,  save (and hopefully get) the girl, and keep the audience entertained the whole time. and does he manage to do so? yes, oh yes. this movie will keep your suspence level really high up there, and you will grab your seat, throw inanimate objects, and skip a romantic heart beat or two. success!

then there’s the whole parallel universe/sci-fi matter. basically, these people are already dead, and he only exists as Sean in the span of this 8 minute circuit frozen in time, and Goodwin, back at the military station, reminds him of this over and over, what happened happened and it can’t be changed.. but still, he wants to try to save them (but mostly the girl). i better not get into it in details, because i don’t want to spoil it too much. go watch it! watch it now!

 

if you have watched Moon and have completely, morbidly fallen in love with like i did (and if you didn’t.. what’s wrong with you??!) you know how tough of a follow-up Duncan Jones was left with in his hands. if i was him, and happened to release a masterpiece as my DEBUT feature film, i’d be scared shitless and probably never leave my room again, knowing that nothing i could ever do in life would be an inch as good as that. luckily though, Zowie Bowie has talent for days, and probably centuries, and was able to give Moon not only a worthy successor, but a spectacularly good one. god, i love this kid. i hope he makes as many movies as Takashi Miike. a girl can dream………