Tag Archives: films

Book Review: Doomsday Morning, C. L. Moore (1957)

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(Richard Powers’ cover for the 1958 edition)

4.25/5 (Good)

C. L. Moore’s Doomsday Morning (1957) — she’s best known for her revolutionary 1930s works including “Shambleau” (1934) and the “Jirel of Joiry” sequence — is perhaps her most ruminative and traditional SF novel (she tended to write more fantastical SF and fantasy).  Unfortunately, she quit writing around the time of the death of her husband and frequent collaborator Henry Kuttner (they often published under the pseudonym Lewis Padgett).  And her second husband forbid her to write altogether…

Moore creates a finely wrought dystopic vision where an oppressive future government utilizes communication networks to spread its tentacles across the United States.  Against this backdrop intriguing characters come to life.  Her descriptions of the political backdrop remain minimalistic which is surprising for SF of the 50s which often resorts to lengthy descriptive lectures.  Instead, the true extent of the government’s Continue reading

Update: 2011 in review, best books, movies, etc

Here are my favorite films and science fiction novels I’ve reviewed this year (and some other interesting categories) with links to my reviews….

Watch them! Read them! Gaze at them!  (the array below….)

Best Science Fiction Novel (tie: The World Inside, The Unsleeping Eye, Hawksbill Station)

The World Inside (1971), Robert Silverberg (REVIEW) 5/5 (Masterpiece)

Silverberg’s The World Inside is a fascinating take on the theme of overpopulation — what if society was organized towards a single goal, propagation?  What would society look like?  What position in society would women occupy?  Men? What would cities look like? Hallways? Rooms? Institutions?  What happens to those who don’t fit in?  Or, can’t have children?

The Unsleeping Eye (variant title: Continue reading

(mini) Film Ruminations: The Tree of Life (2011), Super 8 (2011), A Serious Man (2010), etc.

I do not write reviews for the majority of films I watch.  My reasons are somewhat nebulous considering it’s the summer and I certainly have time.  I see my blog more as a way to re-examine and bring to the forefront sci-fi books and films generally more esoteric and infrequently reviewed.  But certain winds shift direction for brief windows of time.  So here we go, a rundown of the more popular films I’ve seen in theater or re-watched recently.

The Tree of Life (2011), dir. Terrence Malick, rating 7.75/10 (Good)

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Terrence Malick’s The Tree of Life (2011) juxtaposes extensive sequences Continue reading

A Film Rumination: The Man Who Changed His Mind (variant titles: The Man Who Lived Again, Brainsnatcher, Dr. Maniac), Robert Stevenson (1936)

7/10 (Good)

Boris Karloff!  Mind transplants! Headstrong female scientists! 30s sci-fi horror! A watchable yet seldom seen film! What’s not to like?

The Man Who Changed His Mind (1936) is the second Robert Stevenson (later of Disney fame), Anna Lee, and John Loder feature I’ve seen — the first, Non-Stop New York (1937) wasn’t nearly as Continue reading

A Film Rumination: Non-Stop New York, Robert Stevenson (1937)

5/10 (Bad/Average)

This “lost” (for good reason) little film is vaguely watchable for one aspect alone — a massive futuristic art-deco transatlantic plane which can fly from London to New York in 18 hours!  Non-Stop New York (1937) is an early film from illustrious director Robert Stevenson (Mary Poppins, Bedknobs and Broomsticks, The Love Bug, Continue reading

A Film Rumination: He Who Must Die (Celui Qui Doit Mourir), Jules Dassin (1957)

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7.5/10 (Good)

American director Jules Dassin — famous for his 40s and 50s film noir works Brute Force, Rififi, Night and the City, The Naked City – departs from his normal stomping ground with an adaptation of Nikos Kazantzaki’s 1948 novel The Greek Passion.  Dassin left the US for France because of his Communist affiliations — hence, the film is in Continue reading

Sci-Fi TV Episode Reviews: Space: 1999, episode 1, ‘Breakaway’ (1975)

Everyone!  I’ve decided to start a new series of posts!  An episode by episode log of my reactions (including, but not limited to rants, ravings, tangential ruminations, mutterings, and indecipherable utterances) to Space: 1999 (1975-1977).  I’ve never seen the show before and don’t have very high expectations.  But with 2001: A Space Odyssey inspired visuals and some 70s flare (see the hilarious costumes of the cast image below), how bad can it be? (haha).  A general naïveté (on my part)  Continue reading

A Film Rumination: Transatlantic Tunnel (variant title: The Tunnel), Maurice Elvey (1935)

6.5/10 (Average)

Maurice Elvey’s Transatlantic Tunnel (1935) inhabits the forlorn ranks of seldom seen early science fiction films.  Is it a masterpiece of the genre?  No.  Is it worth watching for fans of early sci-fi?  Definitely!  The production value is remarkable (which surprised me) and a few scenes remain to this day awe-inspiring Continue reading

A Film Rumination: Eccentricities of a Blonde-haired Girl, Manoel de Oliveira (2009)

7.5/10 (Good)

The Portuguese master Manoel de Oliveira is the oldest filmaker still making films — he’s 102 at the moment!  Even more surprising is the fact that his most productive years have come since the 1990s (often two films a year).  Eccentricities of a Blonde-haired Girl (2009) is the first of his I’ve seen and won’t be my last.  Despite the fact that Eccentricities has its fair share of flaws it is a gorgeous and timeless tale Continue reading