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Sci-Fi Saturday #14


Welcome to Sci-Fi Saturday, a column that is devoted to all things science fiction: film, television, comics, novels, video games, and local Metro Detroit events. If there is a topic you'd like to see covered in an upcoming column,

email us at kinoclub313wsu@gmail.com!

How exciting it is to be writing the first Sci-Fi Saturday column of 2019 - or, as I like to think of it, Blade Runner year. Although I'll admit I'm a bit disappointed at the lack of spinner cars and sexy Daryl Hannah-esque replicants, 2019 is shaping up to be a great year for science fiction fans! For this column, I'll be cataloging some of the SF I missed in 2018 that I'd like to get caught up on and some upcoming stuff that I'm particularly excited about.

The Cloverfield Paradox

Despite its flash-in-the-pan popularity when the film was released on Netflix, I never got a chance to see this. Based on the little I know about it (I've been trying to avoid spoilers), it isn't narratively connected to either Cloverfield or 10 Cloverfield Lane, but I liked those two films enough to watch anything with the word "cloverfield" in the title (regardless of whether it is actually related).

The Misandrists

Although this independent dystopian drama did get a brief run at Cinema Detroit, I unfortunately didn't have a chance to catch it in theaters. And although I don't know much about it, the queer-punk aesthetic and radical feminist storyline basically ensure that I *will* find a way to watch The Misandrists sooner or later.

Upgrade

Cyberpunk and body horror are two of my favorite forms of science fiction/horror films, so Upgrade is right up my alley. Logan Marshall-Green, despite looking like a Tom Hardy knockoff at first glance, is an actor to pay attention to. His work in Karyn Kusama's The Invitation was phenomenal, and I can't wait to see what he does next.

Bumblebee

Okay, yeah, I never expected to include a Transformers-adjacent film in one of these columns either. But I have heard nothing but good things about Bumblebee. Like, suspiciously good things. I've also heard the movie compared to "horse stories" - you know, those novels/movies/whatever where young girls find an abused or wild horse and tame it and in the process learn something about themselves? I feel like my childhood love of horse stories and adulthood love of science fiction have somehow joined forces to convince me to watch a goddamn Transformers movie. Lord have mercy on my soul.

Glass

Despite my total lack of interest in seeing Split (no offense to the talented James McAvoy), I will definitely see Glass. Unbreakable is my favorite Shyamalan film, and I think a genuinely great superhero movie (still, even though the number of superhero films has increased exponentially since 2000). I'm glad to see the original actor's reprising their roles, and I'm going to hold out hope that Willis doesn't phone it in and that Shyamalan doesn't pull any Happening-level shenanigans with the script.

Alita: Battle Angel

A cyberpunk action film, directed by Robert Rodriguez and based on a manga? Where has this been all my life? Oh yeah, in development hell. I'm glad that this film is finally happening and I hope it lives up to my expectations. Based on trailers and promotional materials, I expect the film to be visually spectacular if nothing else.

Chaos Walking

Although the plot sounds like a slightly less interesting inversion of Y the Last Man, I'll probably check this one out because of the talented production team and cast. Director Doug Liman also worked on 2014's Edge of Tomorrow, which I enjoyed; the script was written by Charlie Kaufman (among others); and the cast includes Tom Holland (adorable), Daisy Ridley (super adorable), and Mads Mikkelson (also adorable, in a creepy way).

Brightburn

The concept is pretty simple - what if Superman had used his powers for evil instead of good? And although this film isn't officially connected to the DC Universe, it is clear that Brightburn is referencing the world's best known superhero. I typically enjoy alternate-universe type stories and superhero deconstructions, and I'm sure Brightburn will be no exception.

The New Mutants

Another superhero/horror mash-up type movie, The New Mutants enters a crowded field of superhero flicks in 2019 (including another Avengers film, the sequel to Spider-Man, Captain Marvel, and many more), but at least seems to be attempting something different. While it seems like Brightburn will focus on the horrors that a super-powered being could inflict on others, it seems like The New Mutants will also address the horrors inflicted upon super-powered beings by a world that doesn't understand or accept them.

Gemini Man

Despite my intense dislike of Clive Owen (don't @ me), I am looking forward to Gemini Man for a few reasons: director Ang Lee, stars Will Smith and Mary-Elizabeth Winstead, and cinematographer Dion Beebe (who did amazing work on Collateral, among many other films). Although Will Smith's recent forays into sci-fi/fantasy haven't entirely worked for me (I hated Bright and wisely, it seems, skipped After Earth entirely), I'm hoping that Gemini Man will break that trend.

[Where I share upcoming and ongoing SF-centric events in the Metro Detroit area]

Saturday, January 12th

Friday, January 18th

Saturday, January 19th

Friday, January 25th

  • Mandy (2018), Landmark Main Art Theater (Royal Oak), Midnight

Saturday, January 26th

Wednesday, January 30th

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