Monday, August 22, 2016

Eye on Sci-Fi - August 2016 - Stranger Things, Rogue One, Orphan Black, Blade Runner 2 and Jack Burton and Snake Plissken

August 2016
By Ken Parker

Stranger Things - What an excellent show.  It is interesting to see a show that has so many homages and connections to the movies of the 80's and yet seem so original and exciting.  I would say, if you loved sci-fi movies like E.T, Firestarter, Goonies as well as Stephen Spielberg, John Carpenter and Stephen King films then you will recognize and like Stranger Things.  Not only does this show take you back in time to the 80's in both setting and feel but it also manages to deliver a highly entertaining show that is both a kids adventure and an adult horror movie.  Netflix is on fire right now with their original programming and this series, 8 episodes long and already renewed for season 2, raises the bar for not only other Netflix series but for television in general.  I could go on and on but there is no reason really.  Your excuses not to get Netflix have just dwindled to practically nothing!

Westworld - Really looking forward to this series.  Hope after all this wait that it is half way decent.

Blade Runner 2 - I usually accept sequels and remakes and with Ridley Scott in charge I have around 95% confidence that Blade Runner 2 will live up to reasonable expectations (would have been higher but there was a filmed called Prometheus that lowered my faith in Scott just a little).  Blade Runner 2 is being made and with a cast including Jared Leto, Ryan Gosling, Robin Wright, David Bautista and Harrison Ford in place, I guess there is no reason to pinch myself.  Yet I have not really been jazzed for this because I rarely can get hyped up for sequels that are so far past the period where a sequel makes sense.  You might have heard of the sequels to Avatar. I have as well but I have no real urge to see them.  I think a few years after the original came out, lets say, 2012, I might have had some more interest but really, now you decide to do it?  Couple this with the fact that Avatar was nothing spectacular and I personally have less to care about.  Blade Runner is in my top 2 sci-fi movies, often fighting back and forth with 2001: A Space Odyssey for first place.  I have lots of interest in this film as it is one of the rare ones that I feel does not warrant a remake nor a continuation.  But if it can capture some of what Blade Runner was in 1982 then I am all in.  I await that proverbial single image or teaser trailer to push me into the realm of excitement that I hope will happen.

A Star Wars Story - Rogue One - A new trailer and part of me is saying - it is a prequel, nothing exciting to see here, a bigger part of me is frothing at the mouth to see this now!!

Star Trek Beyond Review - I may have fallen into an alternate reality where fans are more critical of movies than in the past.  Either that or people are getting sick of these types of movies.  This year has delivered some excellent movies but the box office results are not that good.  Star Trek Beyond was parsecs better than the previous film.  Is it perfect? Of course not.  I am not liking the Enterprise being destroyed in every 3 movies.  Some of the plot is hard to swallow but no where near as bad as the last film, which I have forgotten the name of and am too lazy to look it up.  Beyond felt more like Star Trek and very much like the classic series.  Sure, there are people out there that are against the entire remake franchise, fine but Beyond was indeed a good one.  Could it be that the odd Star Trek films are the better films now??

Orphan Black - Another season gone by and one to go.  I found this season to be what I would expect from this series.  I marvel at the job that Tatiana Maslany does all the time - that is worth the price of admission right there.  The series is clever and so enjoyable, I will miss it when it is gone after the 5th and final season.  I feel okay with it ending as I think it is the right time, while the quality of stories are still on top.  I hope this writing team gives us new shows that are just as entertaining and I know Tatiana will shine in whatever she does.  The series is not done yet and this season had tons of intrigue.  If you have always wanted to catch up, now is the time to watch the first 4 seasons over the next few months and be ready for the 5th season in spring of 2017. Sounds like a
great idea!!

Jack meets Snake, what could possibly go wrong? - A comic crossover is in the works that sees everyone's favorite anti-hero Snake Plissken meet everyone's favorite buffoon , Jack Burton.  the character of Jack Burton from Big Trouble In Little China, is transported to a dystopian future where he meets Snake Plissken from Escape From New York.  John Carpenter has given the go ahead for this comic continuation that will run 6 issues starting this October.

Lost Themes II - Speaking of John Carpenter - a new CD with original music, remastered themes released on vinyl, music videos, a TOUR!!

I regret not going to this concert.

The Martian - Extended Cut - This is a film that I enjoyed in the theater and this summer watched the extended edition and enjoyed it even more.  I felt it wasn't necessarily the new material that made it better, its just that I really did enjoy it more.  Usually when films do this to me, I put them higher and higher on my list.  The Martian is really good and the extended edition did a good job filing in
some gaps and made things a bit more cohesive.  I will be watching this one again and again.

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