September 9, 2013
The World’s End
Good fun, a very Doctor Who-ish kind of story, alien robots taking over small town, etc. The movie treads a line: fun adventure comedy, and deeply poignant if not depressing story about getting older. It really hit home for me. I’m the same age as the main characters, and I think most of us have a Gary in our lives, and Andy’s “We’re angry because we care” rant was heart-wrenching.
Also, being the same age as the characters and filmmakers means all the music and all the 80′s jokes were there just for me. After the film I couldn’t help but ask, “Will anyone under 35 even think this is funny???”
Here’s the brief review I posted on Facebook, because I can’t think of a better way to put it: “So, yeah, it’s like one of those crazy gonzo sci-fi novels from the 70′s you borrowed off your weird Uncle Leroy’s bookshelf when you were a teenager, you know, the ones with the wild Frank Frazetta covers, and it kind of blew your mind and turned you on to science fiction forever, even though you sort of knew it was kind of deeply problematic in some ways, but it lead you to “Left Hand of Darkness” and “The Stars My Destination,” and you’ll always sort of secretly be in love with it even though you know you should probably never go back to it again. Yeah, it’s like that.”
If you have any love at all for big pulpy science fiction adventure, you should probably see this.
There’s some problematic handling of women characters, unfortunately. Katee Sackhoff did the best she could with the material she was given. But given how well the previous installments did with women characters (Fry from Pitch Black is still one of the most amazing women characters in all of science fiction film), it’s disappointing that they couldn’t think of anything else to do with her but have all the other characters fling rape jokes at her, pretty much constantly. At least she was uber-competent.
Both movies are still better than Elysium.
August 12, 2013
The Short Review: I was in a Cyberpunk RPG campaign in 1994 that went pretty much exactly like this.
The Long Review:
Oh dear lord. Neill Blomkamp’s previous effort, District 9, was a bit heavy handed, but at least it had a really slam-bang adventure story to go with it. This thing — we have a new measure of heavy handed. Elysium is more heavy handed than Soylent Green. You want allegory? I got your allegory. See, the Earth is Mexico and Elysium is Arizona, except they speak French there for some reason, and Jody Foster is Sheriff Joe Arpaio and Matt Damon is the only white guy left on Earth so of course he’s the hero, and it’s all about immigration reform and homeland security right up until it’s all about socialized medicine. And all of it set in a world that makes no damned sense at all.
I almost got through it by realizing the whole thing is basically vintage cyberpunk — dystopic wasteland, corporate overlords in a space-based paradise, and this was before they started actually jacking in with actual head ports and cords. But that’s when I realized the movie borrowed a big chunk of its plot from Johnny Mnemonic. (The movie, not the short story.) OMFG.
But you know what really pisses me off? When people look at something like Pacific Rim and accuse it of bad acting and bad dialog, when really, it has exactly the acting and dialog it needs. It’s simple, straightforward, perfect. There’s exactly one way to say “Kaiju, category three,” and they nailed it. Then you get to a movie like this that takes itself so damned seriously, and the acting is excessively over the top and the dialog is all ridiculous (“Tell Matilda I know why the hippopotamus did it…”). There was one character I liked, because the actor played him straight and not totally melodramatic and cliched like everyone else did. That would be Julio, played by Diego Luna, the only believable character in the entire movie. But because this is a “serious” movie, no one’s going to accuse it of having terrible dialog and say that both Jodie Foster and Matt Damon did awful jobs. And yet, somehow, Pacific Rim is the “dumb” movie. There’s no justice. (Well, Pacific Rim still has a higher rating on Rotten Tomatoes. Maybe there is justice.)
Writing 101 (spoilers)
And if that isn’t enough, the story is terrible, and I’ll you exactly why. The basic premise of the story: oppressed people in a horrible world want to get the promised land, Elysium, where all the rich happy people are. What the story should be: give main character a reason to bust out of his terrible life, give him a way to get there, present obstacles, he either succeeds or fails. Nice, straightforward, right?
Not content with giving Max one reason to get up the nerve to try to break into Elysium, the movie gives him about four. Any one of these four would have made for a fine story. Instead, we juggled them all, which made the whole thing a complicated mess. Max has a crap job building robots and gets caught in a blatantly telegraphed industrial accident involving radiation poisoning and he has five days to live, unless he can get to the magical medicine on Elysium. He goes to his fixer from his old car-jacking days who has a mission for him — they’re going to hack an Elysium executive for entry codes to take over the whole system. But because Max is so sick we also need to install an exoskeleton so he’ll be strong, because it turns out we didn’t think that radiation poisoning thing out well enough. The radiation story pretty much takes a back seat for the rest of the movie, but this way we get that rocking fight at the end, that no one will be able to see anyway because TOO MUCH SHAKY CAM DAMMIT. The entire story is now the classic cyberpunk corporate espionage fights in the street battling the system thing. But apparently even this isn’t enough for a story, because Max’s old girlfriend has a daughter who is dying of leukemia, unless she can get to Elysium. (If I ever do a “how to write book,” there will be a whole chapter about how if you have to add a small child with leukemia to motivate your characters, your plot has gone horribly, horribly wrong.) Okay, that’s just three, but I’m pretty sure there was something else in there I’m missing.
But it turns out none of these motivators is even important because the bad guy just up and loads them on his ship and takes them all to Elysium anyway. Getting to Elysium? Not actually a problem, it turns out! The heroes never have to get themselves to Elysium, which was the whole point of the story we were promised at the beginning. The story isn’t a story — it’s a series of MacGuffins, all of which stop being important just as soon as the next MacGuffin comes along. Writers — don’t do that.
Also, do you know that we have wireless information transfer to orbiting space stations right now, in 2013? Did I mention this thing makes no damned sense? Argh. I’m just so frustrated.
August 5, 2013
Red 2: What it says on the tin. I have to say, it’s really nice being able to laugh all the way through a mainstream comedy. I don’t know what it is about me, but I find machine guns so much more hilarious than, like, your typical scatological humor.
Justified, season 4: Still loving the writing — mostly. Still love that Raylan Givens is actually kind of an idiot, but he’s so damned charming everyone puts up with it. I love that he’s such a bad influence on Tim and Rachel and that drives Art nuts. It got to where I just busted out crying every time Arlo appeared on screen. But the show and the story took a serious misstep that has me intensely cranky, and that’s the Ava story.
Serious Spoilers Ahoy!
So. For four seasons now, we’ve had all kinds of horrible lowlifes blowing each other away with impunity, not worrying about witnesses or snitches or cops or anything. They just seem able to make the bodies vanish, and the authorities rarely get involved. This is just what happens in the nasty criminal underworld of Harlan County, the show tells us. And then Ava blows somebody away, for what was actually a good reason if I recall. Ellen May — another woman — sees it, and suddenly we spend an entire season worrying about cops, and Ellen May snitching, and Ava getting found out and going to jail, in a way that no other character has worried about any of these things during the entire run of the show. And yes, I think there’s a gendered attitude going on here. This leads to previously smart and savvy characters like Boyd doing all kinds of ridiculous, stupid, out-of-character things. I’m like, “So what if they find the body in the mineshaft? She used a freaking shotgun and there’s no physical evidence connecting Ava to the body! And any competent defense attorney is going to completely destroy Ellen May’s credibility as a witness in, oh, thirty seconds of testimony. What are they worried about?“
Well, it turns out the story wanted to hurt Boyd. Because it’s very clear by the end of the episode that the story is less interested in how all this affects Ava than it is in how Ava getting arrested is going to affect Boyd. The story here isn’t Ava getting arrested — it’s Boyd failing to protect Ava. Which means the show up and fridged Ava without actually killing her. Yeah, I’m kind of pissed off about that.
Doctor Who: So, how about that new Doctor? Very safe choice, isn’t it? (grumble)
July 15, 2013
Well, here it is, possibly the most anticipated geek film of the year. Even more than Star Trek, because with Star Trek we knew what we were getting. With this? All we could do was hope.
And I’m finding it really hard to talk about because I can’t separate the movie from my intense nostalgia for this kind of thing. I have no idea what this thing looks like to someone who hasn’t been waiting for a good-looking live-action mecha anime-style movie for pretty much her whole life. Because I have, and it’s beautiful.
The thing I really appreciated about Pacific Rim was the industrial weight of it. Water sheeting off steel as Gipsy Danger strides off into the rain. Sparks flying, gears turning, pistons pumping, being able to see it all work because the movie slows down enough to let us. Human beings clearly built these things, and you can see the bolts and welds. Jaegers require a small city of workers to maintain them. They take muscle to operate, a fleet of helicopters to transport. They are heavy and difficult, which makes it that much more impressive when one of them takes off at a run. The scale is consistent, and yet I was always surprised at how big they are, looking up at them, or across at them from the top of an industrial scaffold.
This is something the anime versions could never express. Anime mecha are beautiful, but they’re painted and weightless. Which means this movie is better than its source material. And part of me can’t believe I just wrote that.
Okay, time to shake it off and get serious. First off, the good: the 3D was fantastic — completely non-intrusive, if that makes sense. I forgot I was watching 3D, because it didn’t do any of that fakey “ooooh, you’re watching 3D” sight gag crap. The 3D added depth, and that was it — it helped increase the sense of scale and weight to the mecha and kaiju. This was a very deep world. Really, I loved the worldbuilding. The pilot culture, the world experiencing slow apocalypse. If I lived in this world (not that I want to live in a world being overrun by interdimensional kaiju) I would so be a Jaeger groupie. The film’s best action set pieces are not in in the trailers. There’s one in particular that made my Voltron fangirl heart soar. To say more would spoil it.
Second, this is a really good example of a story that’s filled with cliche characters and plot points — the grizzled veteran commander, the hero with a traumatic past, the untried rookie, the hotshot with the chip on his shoulder, the crazy scientist — and yet was done cleanly, competently, and engagingly. This is a really familiar, standard anime story — and that’s a good thing. Keep it simple so we have time for a story and to see beautiful mecha waging destruction on monsters. Well done. And some of it was very well done indeed: Mako Mori’s flashback, as observed by Raleigh, is probably one of the most striking, beautiful sequences I’ve ever seen in a genre film, ever. This was indeed a movie by the director of Pan’s Labyrinth.
Third, this is also a really good example of a movie that could have been made more inclusive by simply swapping out the gender of one of the existing characters. My pick would be the ops controller or the British mad scientist (if you think that’s crazy, picture this for a sec: an Amy Farrah Fowler type character in this kind of movie. Done swooning yet?). None of those secondary characters needed to be male for the story to work. Seriously, it isn’t about adding extra women characters — it’s about not automatically defaulting to male. (This was my same complaint with Inception.) Then maybe I wouldn’t be sitting there at the end thinking, “Wow, that was a very male movie.” At least we had a veteran woman pilot on the Russian team — that made me happy.
Before going into it, I thought this would either be brilliant, and I’d have nothing to say about it, or terrible, and I’d also have nothing to say. Clearly, I had something to say about it, so it might not have been absolutely perfect — but it really is the live-action anime I’ve been wanting pretty much my whole life and, I think I need to see it again.
July 12, 2013
I’ve been thinking a lot about movie trailers and the expectations they raise. Specifically, why the trailers for The Lone Ranger filled me with such dread while the trailers for Pacific Rim, which by all rights ought to be the exact same kind of overblown outrageous summer FX extravaganza, fill me with such transcendent joy. So this is me, thinking out loud a little bit.
My first thought is this is comparing apples and oranges. Ranger is a western, Pacific Rim is a monster/mecha movie. But no, it’s not — they’re both intended to be summer blockbusters. They’re both genre movies — I mean, both of them got their own homage issues of Planetary, that celebration of all things genre. (Planetary’s Lone Ranger homage is discussed here, its kaiju homage here.) They both have things I love and ought to push my buttons and light up my brain.
So what about The Lone Ranger trailers suggested that the movie was going to be overblown dreck? And what about the Pacific Rim trailers have me so excited I can’t even sit still?
It turns out, I’m much more willing to believe CGI depicting something that can’t possibly happen — giant mecha suits battling unlikely giant monsters — than I am something that really can happen — a train crash — but which is made to look more like a cartoon that defies all laws of physics. Because the train crash in TLR trailers looked so cartoony, it suggested that the filmmakers were going to be treating the whole thing as a big cartoon.
Johnny Depp’s Tonto reinforced that impression.
I do not want a Lone Ranger that is treated like a goofy-ass cartoon. The filmmakers did not seem to take the character seriously. And to everyone who says the Lone Ranger can’t possibly be taken seriously in our modern cynical age, I once again direct your attention to Captain America, which took an old-fashioned character, played him totally straight and earnest, and everybody loved it. In fact, I think modern audiences may be hungry for old-fashioned earnest heroes.
Pacific Rim has been dismissed by some as nothing more than “Transformers v. Godzilla,” or “loud awful CGI monsters whatever.” But here’s the thing an old-school geek like me sees in the trailer: I see a live action version of this, and this, and this – all things I never thought I would see done well in live action, ever. (The links go to YouTube clips of Robotech, Mobile Suit Gundam Unicorn, and Voltron.) This movie is getting the aesthetic of mecha anime, modernized and updated, exactly right. Which tells me the filmmakers understand what they’re doing, know what their audience wants, and know how to give it to them.
The Lone Ranger trailers showed me things I’d seen before — goofy action, western — on steroids, which is not something I necessarily want to see. I ended up seeing The Lone Ranger partly because I was curious to see if my assessment of the trailers was accurate. It was.
The Pacific Rim trailers hint at a story. Maybe not much of one, but it’s there — threat to the Earth, a unit of super-trained mech warriors, an obstacle to their success, will they win? The Lone Ranger trailer had a lot of action scenes, and relied on audience knowledge of the story already attached to the franchise — the Ranger and Tonto will team up and do stuff. Yay. The Pacific Rim trailer actually makes me want to see what happens next.
And there it is, an off the cuff analysis of trailers. Now, plenty of people seemed to like The Lone Ranger just fine, and I can’t really fault the trailers because they delivered exactly what they promised. I’m hoping Pacific Rim will do likewise. And I think I may have finally learned my lesson: if a trailer fills me with existential dread, don’t go see the movie! I’m planning on seeing Pacific Rim at some point this weekend. I’ll let you know how it measures up to my expectations.
July 8, 2013
The Lone Ranger
This was a parody of a western, and not a very good one. And bloated. Way bloated. It needed about six fewer plotlines than it had. But I liked the horses.
Also, it’s bad enough having a (mostly) white actor play an iconic Native American character like Tonto. What’s equally offensive is Johnny Depp borrowing a bunch of Hollywood Indian cliches in order to play yet another quirky Johnny Depp character, ha ha, isn’t he weird? I think I’m done with these Johnny Depp-plays-a-quirky-weird-character vehicles.
Despicable Me 2
I have to be honest, for someone who’s a fan of the Minions, like me, this was actually kind of traumatic, for reasons that will be totally clear if you’ve seen it. Also, “It’s not a real family until there’s a Mom and a Dad?” Really? We’re going there? This is the kind of thing that makes me wonder what people who claim that Hollywood is radically liberal are smoking. Yeah, not as good as the first.
July 3, 2013
All my fantasy projects — the projects I’d do if I had no limits and controlled the universe — are women buddy caper stories. My Avengers movie? Black Widow and Wasp on a buddy caper. My G.I. Joe? Lady Jaye and Cover Girl on a buddy caper mission. My dream is to one day see Zoe Bell and Cecily Fay in a Fafhrd and the Gray Mouser-style rogue fantasy buddy caper.
So of course I had to see The Heat. It’s not my kind of humor, I’m not particularly a fan of either Bullock or McCarthy. But I was determined to throw money at this if for no other reason than to maybe convince Hollywood that we need more of this kind of thing: standard action comedy buddy whatever, that just happen to star women.
Verdict: This was quite well written. You know how high praise that is coming from me. The standard drug bust/murder cop story was adequate and comprehensible (even if the twist end wasn’t that much of a twist). Both characters, Ashburn and Mullins, were well developed with believable backstories and clear-cut motivations that actually tied into the investigation story. And their motivations never once involved romance or marriage or babies or anything like that. You believe their transition from hating each other to becoming real friends. There was exactly enough romance to show that both women have had relationships and are open to relationships — on their terms. This aspect of the movie was wonderful.
It wasn’t perfect. It needed to be twenty minutes shorter, and I know exactly what to cut. That schtick in the Denny’s? So totally unnecessary. Not only was it not necessary, and really not funny, it happened at the end of the second act and brought the entire plot, and all the momentum the movie had going, to a screeching halt, and the story never really recovered from that. Extremely frustrating. And the drunk scene needed to be half as long. Seriously, how much “don’t our heroines look goofy when they’re drunk and dancing?” do we really need?
My favorite scene may be the one where the two are bonding over Mullins’ gun collection. And it actually pays off in the plot later on. I just wanted to stand up and say, “See Hollywood? You can have a movie full of women where none of them are dressed in skin-tight outfits and they don’t talk about men! More please?”
June 24, 2013
I love Shakespeare. Passion, emotion, verve, language. Oh, the language. I’ve read plays by other Elizabethan playwrights, and it becomes clear very quickly why we still read and study and perform and make movies of Shakespeare. He’s so much better than his contemporaries. It’s like watching the Green Lantern movie then going to see Captain America. You feel this profound relief that it’s not the genre that’s the problem. It’s, you know, the writing.
I especially love “concept” Shakespeare. Shakespeare done not in a classic Elizabethan style, but in wild settings with wild interpretations. Sometimes it goes very badly. (Don’t talk to me about the Macbeth I saw where they had drumming. Through the ENTIRE play.) I’ve seen The Comedy of Errors done as early 80′s punk, Hamlet as 1940′s minimalist, and A Midsummer’s Night Dream where the play-within-a-play was done as a kabuki parody that was so hilarious my gut hurt for a week from laughing so hard. I’ve seen Two Gentlemen of Verona twice — one version played it straight, the other played it as farce, and the different interpretations made them totally different plays. I love that about Shakespeare. It’s why I’ll always go see a Shakespeare play, no matter how many times I’ve already seen it.
I’ve been so looking forward to the new Much Ado About Nothing. And not just because of the opportunity of finally getting to see a Joss Whedon film where nobody gets suddenly impaled by anything. (Although there is that whole metaphorical speech about Cupid’s darts. Hmmm….) There’s already been one spectacularly beloved film version of Much Ado (I haven’t seen it in years, I should go do that soon), and I was fascinated by the possibilities, the black and white, the modern setting, all the actors who I’d never think of doing Shakespeare. Conclusion?
I liked it just fine. It wasn’t unabashedly joyous like the Branagh version. But it was awfully fun. The drunkest Shakespeare production I’ve ever seen. Every other scene, somebody was pouring a drink. Mostly, it was like seeing a bunch of familiar faces and friends get together to put on a show. I had somehow failed to notice beforehand that Sean Maher was in it, was pleasantly surprised when he showed up, and he was great. So was Fillion. It wasn’t until I got home and was working out how to interpret the modern setting — guns, cars, bodyguards with sunglasses — that I figured out that they were all mobsters. This was like a 1950′s mobster noir comedy. Or something.
Also this weekend I finally got to watch The Tempest that came out a few years ago, directed by Julie Taymor and starring Helen Mirren as “Prospera.” What a brilliant bit of casting, yes? Taymor directed Titus, which is without a doubt one of the best movie adaptations of Shakespeare of all time. The Tempest isn’t quite there. It’s beautiful, interesting, with a fabulous cast, but I don’t think it quite hit the mark. One thing it did do that I wasn’t expecting was offer a new interpretation of the ending. This is one of my favorites of Shakespeare, and the ending is almost always presented as a victory: Prospero has manipulated events to this point, has returned to power and brought his enemies low. He rejects his magic because he doesn’t need it anymore. In this version, Mirren’s Propsera is melancholy and grief stricken at the end. She says the line “every third thought shall be my grave,” and I realized — she’s already dying. She’s done all this because she doesn’t have time to wait anymore. She has to arrange her affairs, make sure her daughter Miranda is taken care of, get rid of her magic so no one else will use it, and she has to do it all before she dies. It’s a desperately sad reading of the play, and I think I really like it. I wonder if this reading would work with a male actor in the role. Despite its flaws, this film does something that good performances of Shakespeare should do — show us the plays in a new light, teach us something new about them.
June 17, 2013
At first, I really only had three thing to say about this:
Never has a superhero movie been so hampered by its own sense of self importance. And by excessive shaky cam. Seriously, this thing had shaky cam going in scenes with two people standing and talking. Not even kidding.
Zach Snyder makes good movies when someone gives him a very detailed storyboard ahead of time.
The entire prologue on Krypton has to go. Its only purpose is to serve as a proof-of-concept video for a live-action version of “Heavy Metal.”
The more I think about cutting the prologue, the better the rest of the movie gets. From a writerly standpoint, it’s astonishing how badly the Krypton prologue hamstrings the rest of the story. Because everyone knows the story of Superman coming from Krypton, because so many of us have this cultural memory of the scene from Donner-Reeve version of the movie, the makers of Man of Steel must have decided that 1) They couldn’t leave it out, it’s too classic, too much a part of the mythos and 2) They had to do something different with it to make it new and interesting and surprising. So they made it twenty minutes long and filled with bombast and long speeches and fistfights and amazing planetary vistas and so on. (It was probably only 10 minutes long. But it felt like 20.)
This was a terrible mistake. Because this means the movie is not primarily about Clark/Kal El discovering who he is and why he exists and what he’s going to do about it. Because we’ve spent twenty minutes now setting up this conflict between Jor El and Zod, Clark is nothing more than a pawn. A tool. A Macguffin. It’s stated as much, in that scene and that’s the conflict that ends up making the backbone of the movie. The real story, the interesting story about this kid who really really doesn’t fit in trying to make good in the world never gets a chance to take a breath. Clark’s story — the entire first act and last five minutes of the movie — are absolutely the best parts and quite wonderful. But they’re buried.
A more daring choice? Cut that damned frakking bombastic prologue. We don’t care about Krypton, at least not right now. Then the first scene of the movie is the crab boat, with the greenhorn who it turns out is invincible and super strong. We get his story — he’s always moving, helping people and vanishing, because he doesn’t know what else to do with his power. There are flashbacks showing that he’s been grappling with these questions his whole life. We get the revelation — just like he did — that he’s from outer space. His first encounter with Kryptonian technology becomes our first encounter with Kryptonian technology. And his first glimpse of Jor El is also our first glimpse of Jor El. And finally, his questions — where am I from, who am I? — start to get some answers. We’re right there with him, we’re engaged, we care, his story is the one we want to know more of. We’re also following the same trail of clues that Lois is — I actually loved that, her finding him just by knowing where to look for a good story. And I think that ending — where she really does know that Clark is Superman the whole time and she’s consciously, purposefully covering for him — is effing brilliant.
And it gets better, because Clark/Kal is offered a choice at the big climactic scene: Earth or Krypton? And he’s in a totally unique position to make the choice that he does: “Krypton had its chance.” He realizes, as Zod doesn’t, that authority-driven Kryptonians like Zod and his father make choices that will always ultimately destroy their world. He can’t let them go down that road again, especially because he knows how valuable Earth is. And I would have loved loved loved to see what that scene looked like having no more information about that backstory than Clark does. I want to see that scene with Clark as the true protagonist and not a sideline to the Jor El-Zod conflict.
The prologue doesn’t reveal anything. It doesn’t tell us anything that becomes revelatory later on. It doesn’t give us any information that isn’t later explained by Zod or by holo-Jor El. It’s beautiful, certainly. But you cut it out and the rest of the movie remains completely unchanged. That means it needs to go. (I could say that about a half dozen or so other short scenes in the movie, but this is the big one.)
Like Spider-Man, the story here is about how “with great power comes great responsibility.” And that should be Clark’s story, from start to finish.
I could keep going but I won’t. You get the idea.
June 14, 2013
It’s a Friday. I’ve been heartbroken watching the news of the Black Forest fire north of Colorado Springs, which is right near my old neighborhood. The high school I graduated from and the house my family lived in are in the pre-evacuation zone. (My family has since moved away, so we’re all safe, no worries. But wow, I know that area, you know? It’s where I went driving when I was pissed off and didn’t want to talk to anyone.) I remember watching the Waldo Canyon Fire last year and thinking it couldn’t get any worse than that. And here we are, a year later, and it’s worse.
So, random movies seen on TV lately:
The People vs. Larry Flynt. I was totally curious, and the thing hooked me enough to draw me through it. It’s a typical biopic, in that it has no plot to speak of. But Courtney Love and Ed Norton are both amazing in their supporting roles, and the film features many fine, cogent, articulate discussions of various freedom of speech issues. I just love that a movie exists where the climactic scene is Ed Norton delivering an argument to the Supreme Court.
Supernova. I must have noticed when this thing was out in theaters, but I didn’t see it, which is good because holy cow is this thing awful. Truly, astonishingly awful. It clearly wanted to be just like Event Horizon — only it picked the terrible second half of Event Horizon to emulate, instead of the brilliant first half. Big mistake! So yes. I can’t even get into the awfulness of this. Derivative, nonsensical — and really bad science. Really bad. It’s too much. Which is too bad because it’s got kind of an awesome cast. Like Angela Bassett, who needs to do more SF movies. And James Spader is actually kind of hot as the bad boy hero. But yeah, you all know how much I loathe Event Horizon, and this thing makes Event Horizon look Oscar worthy.