wed 01/02/2023

sci-fi

Avatar: The Way of Water review - is that all there is?

You may wonder: is this it? James Cameron’s Avatar sequel replays Earth’s colonial assault on Pandora in the original, cancelling out the blue-skinned native Na’vi’s victory under the Dances With Wolves-like, blue-white saviour command of Jake Sully...

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1899, Netflix review - Atlantic voyage turns into cosmic nightmare

Baran bo Odar and Jantje Friese won delirious acclaim for their previous Netflix series Dark, a labyrinthine and fantastical account of children vanishing from a small German town. Anyone familiar with its baffling events and leaps across different...

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'We needed to find the perfect sound of vibranium, an alien metal specific to the Marvel Universe': Foley artist Shelley Roden on creating audible movie miracles

The projection screen reflects light onto the Foley stage. I can just make out the edges of the built-in cement and metal surfaces around the floor’s perimeter and the large dirt pit centre stage. Bamboo poles, a hockey stick, and a shovel poke...

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Science Fiction: Voyage to the Edge of the Imagination, Science Museum review - travel to a galaxy not so far away

Scenes that stay in the mind: Arnold Schwarzenegger as the Terminator peeling back the skin on his forearm to reveal the gleaming machinery within; a beady-eyed, new-born Alien bursting from John Hurt’s abdomen; that all-species bar in Star Wars;...

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Vesper review - impressively art-directed sci-fi film

Vesper is a piece of arty European sci-fi, filmed in the forests of Lithuania (homeland of co-director Kristina Buozyte) and set in a dystopian future conjured up by its French co-director Bruno Samper (a "digital experience designer"). The two...

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Bluedot Festival 2022 review - science and space travel meet musical frolicking at Jodrell Bank

 FRIDAY 22 JULY by Caspar GomezWhen my regular festival pal Finetime and I have set up the wibbly, inflatable-poled tents he bought from Lidl, we settle to drinks, his from a chill-box, mine from a 35-pint container of Pilton Labyrinth scrumpy...

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Lightyear review - can infinity be a yawn?

The animation may be stunning, but in every other department, Lightyear is a disappointment. It’s a crying shame for anyone who loved the original Toy Story and its (mainly) excellent sequels. If you were expecting a buzz...

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Jurassic World Dominion review - extinction event

Franchise burnout continues apace, in this asteroid strike of a finale. Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness showed the previously agile and humane Marvel machine weighed down by plot mechanics and fan service, and this Jurassic Park/World...

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Emily St John Mandel: Sea of Tranquility review - time travel, pandemics and the simulation hypothesis

Emily St John Mandel’s wonderful novel of 2020, The Glass Hotel, featured people and places from her previous pandemic-themed blockbuster, the brilliant Station Eleven.In Sea of Tranquility, named after the "silent flatlands" on the moon where the...

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Don't Look Up, Netflix review - hitting most targets in high style

Most dystopian satires are located in a nightmarish future, but their scripts build on the worst of our world today. Adam McKay's Don’t Look Up is different: this is now, and the notion of a comet hurtling towards the assured destruction of planet...

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The Matrix Resurrections review - reboot or remix?

Back in 1999, The Matrix offered something revolutionary. With a heady brew of William Gibson-influenced cyberpunk, Platonic philosophy and Prada, it proved that blockbusters could be both smart and action-packed. Remember those days? Two...

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Hellbound, Netflix review - supernatural assassins usher in an age of terror

Netflix is sometimes criticised for bringing too much of everything to its online feast, but the way it’s opening up previously under-exposed territories is becoming seriously impressive. Suddenly, South Korea is beginning to look like a powerhouse...

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