the Little Red Reviewer

Archive for the ‘movie reviews’ Category

interstellar movie poster


Last Saturday we joined another couple to see Interstellar.  I’ve made this review as non-spoilery as possible, but quick tl;dr is that I absolutely loved this movie.


Interstellar, Directed by Christopher Nolan, starring Matthew McConaughey, John Lithgow, Anne Hathaway, Michael Caine , Davie Gyasi, and Jessica Chastian.  Rated PG-13


The premise of Interstellar is that Earth is doomed. A blight is killing the crops, and no matter what you want to be when you grow up, you’re gonna be a farmer, because it is now everyone’s duty to get as much food out of the ground as possible. Cooper, an ex-test pilot, lives with his father-in-law Donald, his son Tom and his daughter Murphy. His daughter is convinced there is a ghost in her bedroom who keeps pushing books off the shelves, and he tries to explain to her that ghosts and poltergeists don’t exist, she’s got to go about understanding what’s in her room in a scientific way.

Cooper still dreams of flying, and his daughter has inherited his love of astronautics and physics.  I won’t tell you how, but Cooper and Murphy come to the attention of a government agency who has a Plan A to save humanity, and a Plan B.  Plan A involves the cinematographic beauty of the movie: flying a ship through a worm hole and into another galaxy, in the search for another planet for humanity to inhabit.  Along with an old army robot, Cooper and a small crew of scientists take a small ship up to a mothballed space station to start their journey.  Plan B is the twist, and well, that would be a spoiler. Which is too bad, because it’s the big idea of the whole thing.



Interstellar was a gorgeous movie to watch.  The rings of Saturn, black holes up close and personal, a star frozen in an eternal moment of being on the event horizon of a black hole, the vistas of the planets the expedition lands on, all of the visualizations are stunning to behold. And this might be the best visual representation of we’ve ever come up with for what a black hole might look like.

Sorta looks like a no-ship.

Black hole sorta looks like a no-ship.


From the drawings we’ve seen in astronomy textbooks, a black hole is a disk that sucks stuff in, looking almost like the drain in your bathtub, right? but as Romilly explains, thats a 2d representation of something that is 3d. Whats a 3d version of a circle? A sphere, of course. So the  black holes are spheres, which at first blush,  looked to me like a Herbertian no-ships. And just wait until you see the black hole that has a star dying in an endless moment on the event horizon! For more info on that, check out this spoiler free article on how they designed the black holes at Wired.

Why yes, that is a star being eaten by a Black Hole. Looks  amazing!

Why yes, that is a star being eaten by a Black Hole. Looks amazing! oh, and there is a planet orbiting it. Wanna take a look?

Read the rest of this entry »

First things first:

Have you seen the movie yet?

do you plan to?

If your answers were “No”, and “Yes”, do not read this post. It’s cup runneth over with ridiculous quantities of snark and epically major spoilers.  I suppose you could scroll all the way to the bottom and just read the last few sentences for the whole point of the post. But even that might spoil the film for you.

Ridley Scott got me a present. Something he’s been working on for a while. Something old skool Alien fans such as myself would certainly be excited about.

By “old skool Alien fans”, I mean those of us who were weaned into science fiction horror  by Ellen Ripley and H.R. Giger. A series of films ripe with suspense, movies you only watch in broad daylight with all the lights on. Sure, the plots are simple (another distress call? didn’t this end really badly for the last ship that answered a distress call?), but the people were smart. They talked about what they planned to do, made contingency plans, found appropriate weapons, and they intelligently went about their business. Thanks to spot on direction and creepy sets, the suspension was through the roof.  Thanks to well written dialog and plotting, the films were peppered with lighter moments and small talk, quickly giving depth to characters. This was a film franchise that was all about show instead of tell. Remember that scene with Ripley at the very end of Aliens (granted, that was one directed by James Cameron) when she’s in the nest with the queen? Not a word is spoken, and no words are needed.

So, with baited breath, I opened the gift Ridley Scott had made for me.

This is where the spoilers start, btw. You’ve been warned.

Read the rest of this entry »

We just watched the movie “The Fountain”.

I enjoyed it, but my other half enjoyed it muchly.  he says:

“If you have an imagination and you’re not afraid to stretch it, and if you’re willing to let a movie take you on a ride, a story , a journey, give The Fountain a chance. I don’t think the critics gave it enough of a change, it is definitely worth seeing.

The visuals and sound effects work together perfectly and complimented the story on the screen.   the visuals and music were beautiful, but unimportant. what was important was the journey the viewer is taken on during the 2 hour film.  even though it’s nothing like a Bernardo Bertolucci movie, it reminds me of his work – it’s not translating a play and writing it into a movie, it’s writing something that’s meant to be a movie, and only a movie.

If they made this a book, you’d know too many things.  If you know – you won’t experience. knowledge in some cases inhibits our ability to experience the world around us.  And this movie expresses that, like a Bertolucci movie, or like 2001, or even Princess Mononoke.”

I liked it too, but he liked it more.  For me it was very pretty, and very meta.  and i’m really feeling that meta these days.  in fact, “meta” might be my word for 2011.

Daybreakers (2009)

Starring Ethan Hawke, Willem Defoe, Sam Neill

Rated R

No matter how many times vampire stories are done to death, they just won’t die.  But at least some of them attempt to be unique.

A few years in the future, a vampire plague ravishes the earth. Other than not being able to go outside during the day, life eventually goes on.  Banks and schools and companies still run, lawns still get mowed, curtains are blackout fabric, and the business day runs from sun-down to sun-up.  Human-farming has become a big business, as has trying to develop a blood substitute.

Humans quickly become a dying breed, usually captured for farms, or instant use.  As the vampires turn more and more humans, their source of sustenance, human blood, is drying up.

Without human blood or a functioning substitute, the vampires will degenerate – pointed ears, lose their hair, they turn into cannibalistic bat-like creatures. That is the point at which humanity is truly  lost.

Read the rest of this entry »

2014 Hugo Awards

I reviewed some Hugo nominated stuff. Click here for the list.

Follow me on Twitter!

Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join 1,207 other followers

subscribe in a reader

Vintage SF

Lies of Locke Lamora Read Along

Local Friends


FTC Stuff

some of the books reviewed here were free ARCs supplied by publishers/authors/other groups. Some of the books here I got from the library. the rest I *gasp!* actually paid for. I'll do my best to let you know what's what.