Sci-Fi From All Angles

Like a good sci-fi enthusiast, I try and partake of the genre though all of its media incarnations. With the exception of a documentary, my recent reviewables have all been from that exalted setting. Here are my takes on a couple sci-fi movies, a comic, and my first book review. Be gentle.

Thor: B: I watched this movie with conflicting biases. On one hand, I’ve enjoyed all the Avengers set-up films so far and devour Norse mythology like it’s ambrosia. On the other hand, the trailers lowered my expectations so far that I almost considered not seeing it opening weekend (shocking!) It seems those biases balanced each other out; I enjoyed, but didn’t love the film. I didn’t exactly relish the sci-fi-ifying of the mythology but understand that’s probably the best way to believably incorporate Thor into the Marvel movie universe. Thor’s sudden character change was also a little abrupt for my tastes. But I liked the battles with Destroyer and against the Frost Giants. I just wish the Asgardians didn’t look like Power Rangers Space Force.

Pandorum: C: Waking up from cryo-freeze with no memory is a fantastic premise for a movie. But as they say, a fantastic premise does not a fantastic movie make. The space zombies (or rather “evolved” humans”) evoked a sci-fi channel original, with obvious wire jumping, awful cinematography, and horrendous mannerisms. The movie seemed to convey that it wanted to you think through the various mysteries but much of it crumbles under the slightest scrutiny.The ending had a few good revelations (most likely written at the same time as the premise) but then added a few more twists so that it reverted back to the earlier schlock.

Flow: D: Documentaries are generally good, even those that are politically-driven, but this look at the privatization of water presented such a slanted take on the subject that it reminded me of some conspiracy theory documentary. The few good points were drowned out by the rantings and pseudo-statistics of the activists the movie interviewed in lieu of more credible, unbiased sources.

Atomic Robo, vol 4: Other Strangeness: A: I am a huge fan of pulp fiction, not the movie but the genre. Robert Howard and H.P. Lovecraft lured me into the world of literature the way only the over-the-top fun that this era could.  The first three volumes of Atomic Robo were a decent modern interpretation of these ideas, fighting nazi robots in WWII and extra-dimentional abberations straight out of the Cthulhu mythos. Other Strangeness mostly continued this good-but-not-great style until one segment about a time-traveling dinosaur pushed the volume into greatness. The funniest comic I’ve read since Nextwave.

The Sparrow: C: I have a feeling my opinion of this book changed more often throughout the reading of it than it should’ve. I started off bored with the characters, their idiosyncrasies annoying me to no end. Then a linguistic study of alien, and earthly, languages re-piqued my interest (though I would think it would only further bore most readers.) I enjoy when a story jumps from different perspectives, and time periods as this one did, but found that in this case I was waiting to get back to one of the perspectives, dreading trudging through the others. And oh the ending! It started exciting, turning a slow story on its head, but then continued too far into ridiculousness. The themes were well explored, but the sci-fi trappings were unnecessary to explore them.

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