REVIEW: Jurassic World [2015]

“This will give parents nightmares” As all good sequels must learn, the key to success is delivering on the promise set forth by the original while also providing something fresh and improved. Just ask James Cameron, a master at the task, who injected action-packed life into both Aliens and Terminator 2: Judgment Day without negating or watering down the mythology still relevant beneath those newfound popcorn blockbuster sensibilities. Neither The Lost World nor Jurassic Park III did it. They decided to both reinvent the wheel and forget what the appeal…

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REVIEW: Terminator 2: Judgment Day [1991]

“You’re really real” Oh what seven years can accomplish through cinematic technological achievement. While The Terminator still looks good today, Terminator 2: Judgment Day looks amazing. Director James Cameron acknowledges his evolutionary leap by opening the follow-up with a near-replica 2029 Los Angeles prologue as the first to showcase exactly how far forward. These new sentient machines are carbon copies of the old moving with marginal hitching to physically belong next to their human adversaries. Besides the sequences inside cars with flat projections whooshing by (Hollywood still hasn’t perfected this…

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REVIEW: Prometheus [2012]

“How far are you willing to go?” **Potential thematic spoilers** The age-old question has always been an unanswerable, “What is the meaning of life?” It’s a query that could easily be solved on an individual basis as far as wealth, family, success, fame, etc., yet so many desire the all encompassing knowledge we were possibly never meant to have. Gods are created and worshiped to give us purpose—be they deities, idols, or even ourselves. We all strive for more and hope to accomplish whatever it takes to reach whatever form…

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REVIEW: Alien: Resurrection [1997]

“You’re a beautiful, beautiful butterfly” An obvious predecessor to screenwriter Joss Whedon‘s revered “Firefly”, Alien: Resurrection breathes new life into a franchise that could have easily been left alone. Reviving the iconic Ellen Ripley through the hot button topic of cloning, his script found a way to coax Sigourney Weaver back with a uniquely dark spin on the character. Part alien, part human, and all Petri dish, ‘Number 8’ is cognizant of her former self’s rage against the xenomorphs two hundred years before while also acknowledging her role as mother…

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REVIEW: Alien3 [1992]

“We’re on the honor system” After James Cameron reinvigorated the Alien franchise to huge success with his action-packed sequel Aliens, Twentieth Century Fox’s desire to keep going shouldn’t have surprised. Looking to retain the level of craftsmanship and professionalism of the first two installments, they tried bringing original director Ridley Scott back to helm an ambitious two part continuation from producers David Giler and Walter Hill—eventual cowriters with Larry Ferguson also—to no avail. So with sci-fi writer William Gibson hired to script them way back in 1987, Alien3‘s lengthy gestation…

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REVIEW: Aliens [1986]

“Game over, man. Game over!” Leave it to über action champion James Cameron to turn a darkly serious sci-fi thriller into a brutally fun romp successful enough to spawn two more sequels and a separate spin-off series that has kept H.R. Giger‘s grotesque xenomorph relevant today. Fresh off the success of Terminator 2, Cameron joined original Alien producers David Giler and Walter Hill to flesh out a new concept that would take the saga into another genre and wider audience appeal. Proving a strong female lead could carry a film…

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REVIEW: Aliens vs. Predator: Requiem [2007]

“I want Daddy to read it” When Alien vs. Predator hit theatres a few years back I had seen only Alien and Aliens from either franchise. I figured I didn’t really need to know every single detail of both series before viewing the combo and I was absolutely right. That film took it upon itself to build up a mythology that connected two alien races in a way that showed they’d been on Earth much longer than humans. The story was pretty intriguing and the fights never overshadowed what happened…

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REVIEW: Near Dark [1987]

“Normal folks, they don’t spit out bullets when you shoot ’em” Before cult classic Point Break and sci-fi winner Strange Days, Kathryn Bigelow had an 80’s vampire gem called Near Dark. Having heard a lot of good word of mouth on this one, and my love for Days, I needed to check it out. Vampire films have a tendency to become redundant, always following rules and never being creative. Seeing 30 Days of Night add a little something to the genre, it was interesting to see what Bigelow and co-writer…

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REVIEW: 28 Weeks Later [2007]

“Code Red” This was definitely a film that I didn’t see any necessity for. 28 Days Later was a fantastic genre film whose main success was not really being the film people expected it to be. What worked there was that we were able to wake up into the world just as our main character did. We experience the disorientation and the horror right along with him, as well as the humanity still within him having missed the original outbreak—unlike the disheartened and beaten comrades he meets along the way.…

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