Friday, 24 June 2016

GUEST POST: Top 5 Underrated Sci-Fi Movies You Need to See Now

I love a good Sci-Fi film, If you're stuck as to which one to watch next then have no fear as guest blogger, Cassie, is here to help with her list of the top 5 underrated Sci-Fi ready to stream now. I hope you enjoy this great post.

Cassie is a blogger and writer who focuses mainly on technology and entertainment. She is a huge Sci-Fi and film fan and hopes that these recommendations will bring some deeper thought and excitement into your life. You can find more of her writing on Secure Thoughts or Culture Coverage. She's also on Twitter: @Cassie_Culture.

Whether we know it or not, science fiction has been the primary influence of most genre films and modern filmmaking. They make up most of our blockbusters, and we are now more than ever able to make our grand dreams reality through the use of computer effects and expert filmmaking.
Some sci-fi films slip through the cracks or are poorly marketed. This does not diminish their quality. Fortunately, however, you can now easily access most movies through streaming websites of one sort or another. There are so many films to get lost in that it’s nearly impossible to know what to watch from a glance.

Here are some movies that you'll want to check out on a rainy day when you want to see some unfamiliar worlds and ideas:

Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind

If you haven’t heard of this movie, then your expectations of Jim Carrey will not be met. In probably his best role, he plays a man who had his mind erased after a relationship turned out poorly and discovers that the woman had the relationship erased from her mind first. The script is from Charlie Kaufman, whose work is some of the best in the film industry in general and who won an Academy Award for this film. This movie simply doesn't get the attention it deserves.
This is a profoundly intellectual movie, and as a film about the corners of the mind, it is about the standard science fiction fare you would expect. Expect to spend some time thinking about the movie long after you've finished watching it. You probably won't look at relationships and memories the same.

The Day the Earth Stood Still

This is not a new film (the one I'm talking about came out in 1951), but it's readily available on streaming websites, still relevant today and yet still contains the charms of a film that came out over 60 years ago. It is likely you’ve heard the plot (or some variation of it) before, in which an alien lands and tells humanity they must be peaceful or be destroyed by other alien races. It speaks to humanity on a grand scale and takes a high-minded approach to the world’s problems.

While the effects and visuals might be hard to bear for some (the movie shows its age at points), one of the main draws of science fiction are the ideas contained within the work. The ideas are the reason this movie has stood the test of time.

Ex Machina

Ex Machina is one of my favorite films of last year, and it just simply gets the release and hype it deserved. It follows a programmer who wins a contest to spend a weekend at the private estate of his company's brilliant CEO. It turns out the true purpose of the weekend is to test the consciousness of a robot the CEO has been working on. A movie small in scope and large in concept, it tackles the divide between machine and man as well as some of the current debates regarding artificial intelligence today.

An extremely philosophical film, people will either love or hate the third act of the movie based on their expectations. That doesn't stop Oscar Isaac from standing out as tech CEO and genius Nathan Bateman. Alicia Vikander also is amazing as Ava, bringing an almost otherworldly presence to the character. Watching it now will be the best part of your day.

Under the Skin

Under the Skin is a film that will mess with your head and a movie some people won't like. You need to see it for yourself, as you simply can’t call it a standard science fiction film. Scarlett Johansson plays an extraterrestrial “woman” who lures men into fatal situations, and it's hard to decide whether the movie feels real or not.

Johansson is amazing in this role, and you can't help but feel intentionally uncomfortable with her character. You aren't certain of her intentions. You don't know what she wants. There are dozens of theories as to how her character and the film, in general, represent women in our culture (I'll leave it to you to create your own theory). The film tries to trick you. It tries to horrify you and then dares you to understand it. You absolutely need to watch this film.


If you've intended to watch Joss Whedon’s masterpiece Firefly, you should probably skip this one for now and go watch the series. If you've already seen it, then you absolutely need to find this movie on your favorite streaming service and watch it. 

In many ways, it picks up right after the series left off, but it still manages to contain a story for people who are watching with you who might not be too interested in the series. The fact that Whedon gets a feature film budget to work with means we get some stunning action sequences within this already excellent universe.

There we have it, enough films for a great day’s worth of streaming. While you might prioritize some over others, know that you’ll most likely appreciate these films more than the numbers give them credit for.

Are there any other science fiction films that you think deserve a watch or are underrated? Have there been any films you watched recently that you think are awesome and want to share with your fellow readers? If so, please leave a comment below.

Thanks for reading!

Tuesday, 7 June 2016

The Nice Guys

Shane Black is a big name in the screenwriting world, heck he is a big name in Hollywood in general, and although not everything he has made has been a hit with me, he is still one of the more unique and original voices out there. This is one of the main reasons I went to see The Nice Guys, this and because I love Ryan Gosling…

The Nice Guys follows a pair of mismatched Private Eyes as they investigate the apparent suicide of a fading porn star in 1970’s Los Angeles. First let me commend whoever thought to cast Ryan Gosling and Russell Crowe as the two leads in this film, because although they may not scream buddy cop comedy gold, they actually provide some of the best laughs in film this year. The chemistry between the two is riveting and even if the story was rubbish (which it’s not!), I could have watched these two guys do anything together and enjoyed the hell out of it. The whole cast is great and there are some really cool characters that join the duo in the fun that I would never have guessed to have worked so well, considering the age of some of those said characters! I’m not spoiling anything for you here, go out and watch this film!

I was worried that this film may have just been Kiss Kiss Bang Bang (in my opinion, Shane Black’s best film) set in the 70’s, and although it shares some similarities, it is not. The idea of this dirty, downtrodden and sex ridden Hollywood works really well and looks great on film. It was great to be watching a film with a contemporary noir aesthetic that was constantly on the move, the film rarely takes a moment to slow down! I was caught from the get go and as you learn more about the characters you get more and more invested in them. It plays out really nicely and I walked out of the cinema with a big smile on my face.
It's a very solid film and it looks great too. You can tell that everyone involved was having a great time on set, the comedy really flows and there are only a few moments that feel slightly forced. It was great but it didn’t wow me like the first time I saw Kiss Kiss Bang Bang, that however that is a very tough film to top. As a comedy though, this is still the best one we have seen this year and although we are only halfway through I can’t see any films topping it in the near future.

Need something fun to go see at the cinema this weekend, go watch the The Nice Guys, you won’t regret it! I’m giving the film a rating of 4/5.

What did you think? Let me know in the comments below.

Thanks for reading!