It’s hard to define science fiction as a genre when the goal posts keep going and yesterday’s far-fetched landscape becomes today’s headline. It helps to think of any movie that asks “What if?” As related to style. And this month’s selection of streaming under-the-radar science fiction will have you pondering many more questions.
Set in an uncertain country in uncertain times, Spanish writer-director Chino Moya’s dystopian fable leaves audiences in a state of uneasy puzzlement. The costumes and bombastic streets are drenched in a grim Iron Curtain aesthetic, and the general atmosphere suggests a parallel universe that is either totalitarian or abandoned by the state.
“undergods” Loosely weaves different stories, with the first being initiated by Kay (Johann Myers) and Jade (Geza Rohrig), garbage collectors who pick up bodies instead of garbage. While each of these volumes has an off-kilter internal logic of a morality story, Moya is less interested in traditional fiction than in creating a coherent, albeit esoteric universe.
The film will be a curse for those who need a clear-cut — well, anything obvious. But Moya has created something rare: an oddity that feels both familiar and utterly sui generis. Fans of “Delicatessen,” “Brazil” and “Eraserhead” should give it a shot.
What a comforting secret to hard-boiled pulp, this movie is about alien battles: the gentle side of a vast fictional universe.
the very first, “long weekend” Looks like a traditional rom-com. Bart (Ryan Murphy regular Finn Wittrock) is a struggling writer who is reduced to living in the garage of his best friend (Damon Wayans Jr.). One day he meets Vienna (Zoe Chao), who comes dangerously close to being a manic pixie dream girl complete with cool bangs and quirky features – she doesn’t have a credit card or cellphone!
Director Stephen Basilone (a writer on the TV series “The Goldbergs”) is self-aware enough to include a metajoke about said stock character. The relaxed, fluid relationship between the two leads is more important than any meta irony, though: it’s easy for Bart and Vienna to root while wondering what kind of obstacles Basilone will throw his way.
Join Times Theater reporter Michael Paulson in conversation with Lin-Manuel Miranda, catch a performance of Shakespeare in the Park and more as we look for signs of hope in a changed city. For a year, the series “Offstage” has followed theaters through the shutdown. Now we are seeing its rebound.
Which, of course, is exactly when the movie turns romance into a sci-fi pretzel. Best of all, the ending feels earned.
‘Train to Busan Presents: Peninsula’
Five years ago, “Train to Busan” juxtaposed the zombie genre with one simple trick: The incredible action was set on a moving train. Fortunately for many fans of the film, director Yeon Sang-ho was not done with that specific universe: he also created an animated prequel. “Seoul Station” (available to stream, buy or rent on multiple platforms) and then expanded your zombie playground with Fast & Furious “Peninsula.”
It’s not a random detail as eye-popping car chases feature prominently in the film, in a ruined city surrounded by starving mobs and gangs of crazy thugs – it’s hard to tell which are worse, though. They’re yellow next to a trio of ultracool female characters led by a badass mother (Lee Jung-hyun).
The title refers to South Korea, which four years now has been mired in a mysterious zombie epidemic that has turned it into a wasteland closed off from the rest of the world. But the streets of Thar hold gold, or rather, millions of dollars in cash, and a ragtag team with nothing to lose is sent to rob Hong Kong. Yawn takes it from there, working the various set pieces at a breakneck pace.
And there you have it: Zombies + Robbery + “Road Warrior” + “Escape from New York” = the winning formula.
Thing about reviving a tired style: Based on very interesting movie Alone, Indonesia can do to superheroes what Korea did to zombies. Writer-director Joko Anwar wisely anchors the title character (played by the flamboyant, charismatic Abimana Aryasatya) in a dystopian Jakarta where bosses and crooks, guarded by corrupt legislators, brutally dominate factory workers and market vendors — The film has a strong Dickensian vibe and its treatment of children is extremely insensitive by American standards. This is where the superhero Gundala fights on behalf of the poor and downtrodden, first thanks to his martial-arts prowess, then with a little help from the powers he gained from lightning.
His nemesis is the ruthless Pangkor (Bront Palare), whose right-hand side is disfigured into the Batman villain Two-Face. He’s trying to taint the town’s rice supply with a very special drug—the plot straight out of a 1960s Silver Age comic book, which is fitting since the Gundala character was created.
The end of the film suggests that a sequel is coming. No complaints there.
Welcome to an alternate reality in which Earth is destroyed by a comet and Gerard Butler is in a really cool movie.
What inspires movies describing the extinction event is not whether our planet will be saved – it won’t – but who will do it anyway and how. Usually we follow a small group of people and follow one of them “Greenland” One is down to the nuclear center: John and Allison Garrity (Butler and Morena Baccarin) and their diabetic young son, Nathan (Roger Dale Floyd). This helps keep Rick Roman Waugh’s film from being too shattering, even when Garrity falls apart: the tight focus, mixed by a relatively restrained filmmaking style, creates an anxiety-inducing atmosphere. We are far from films that depict devastation on such a large scale that they become abstract; Here, human decisions drive the story.
Sure, “Greenland” recycles some of the genre’s clichés (couples reconciling in adversity, for example), but it also raises thorny ethical and practical issues, partly because of Nathan’s position. cause. Who gets the chance to survive is not an easy question to answer.