sat 28/05/2022

sci-fi

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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Claire Tomalin: The Young H.G. Wells review – days of the comet

In late 1894 an unknown 28-year-old science tutor and wannabe writer finished a story in his dismal lodgings just north of Euston station. Divorced, after a brief, calamitous marriage to a cousin, he lived with a new lover even though the hostile...

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Mark Bould: The Anthropocene Unconscious review - climate anxiety is written everywhere

Our everyday lives, if we’re fortunate, may be placid, even contented. A rewarding job, for some; good eats; warm home; happy family; entertainment on tap. Yet, even for the privileged, awareness of impending change – probably disaster – intrudes....

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Vanara, Hackney Empire review - fine singing, but a plodding book and one-pitch score in this new musical

Two tribes, both alike in dignity in fair Vanara, trade goods and insults in a post-apocalyptic world in which fire is known to The Kogallisk but not to The Pana. When The Oroznah, a shaman respected by both feuding factions, foretells a long winter...

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Album: Vangelis - Juno to Jupiter

Along with Tangerine Dream and Jean-Michel Jarre, Vangelis is a key figure in the development of - to be loosely colloquial about it – trance and chill-out electronica. His 1970s work was proggy trip music, laced with classical aspirations that...

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Reminiscence review - looks great but doesn't deliver

Written and directed by Lisa Joy, who masterminded HBO’s Westworld TV series, Reminiscence is a grandiose sci-fi blockbuster that looks great, sounds deafening, but ultimately disappoints because it’s a genre-sampler that can’t find a distinctive...

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Old review - time flies in tropical island mystery

You can rely on M Night Shyamalan to deliver supernatural shocks and freakish events, but the alternative-reality nature of his projects demands suspension of disbelief. It’s great when it works (The Sixth Sense or Split), but a bit of a bummer when...

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The Tomorrow War, Amazon Prime - futuristic blockbuster outstays its welcome

Originally designed as a Yuletide widescreen blockbuster, The Tomorrow War belatedly emerges on Amazon’s streaming service, which at least means you can hit the pause button during its immense 140-minute running time whenever you need a leak or a...

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Album: Kevin Richard Martin - Return to Solaris

It takes a brave musician who thinks that he or she can do a better job than the combined talents of Russian electronica trailblazer Eduard Artemyev and Johann Sebastian Bach. However, Kevin Martin, also known as The Bug and a prime mover for such...

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