Streaming Sci-Fi

Renaissance maybe?  Seems to be the go-to theme now.  There are so many options it’s hard to keep them all in line.  Some recent watches below.

The Titan

Conceptually, re-editing genes to live on another planet is a cool idea.  Understanding the sacrifices that people have to make in order to progress through the change would be worth exploring.  Instead it turns into a monster movie.  And not a very good one.

70 minutes of no progress whatsoever, and 27 minutes of content that has no relation to the previous part of the movie.  Taylor Schilling does all the lifting here, while Sam Worthington just stares at labs for an hour.

Lost in Space

Arggghggg.

I really liked the original series.  I don’t have any idea what the attempts was here, other than give Parker Posey a platform to show how great she is.  It also seems like the budget per episode was cut by more and more every every episode.

They could have cut 20% of the running time of each episode – and there would have been no real loss.  And there’s no real tension in anything here – because the focus is on the kids.  Just like in the old series, Will Robinson could not be touched.  The 3 kids here are more or less immortal due to the “can’t hurt kids on TV” rule.  The same rule that makes Stranger Things a bit of a let down in the stress factor.

This should have been “Lost” but in space.  Ah well.

ARQ

A time travelling loop of a story that works quite well.  It’s a cycle story, more like that old ST: TNG episode, where people gradually are able to work things out.  The story makes a bit more sense, the actors do a serviceable job, and the filming is good quality.  The twist (always a twist) at the end is also pretty good.

Primer is one extreme of this genre.  ARQ is a decent middle ground where anyone can follow and appreciate the ride.

Spectral

This was supposed to be a wide cinema release, and has a lot of the bells and whistles of that genre of film.  There’s a lot of (grounded) techno-babble, and you really need to put on the make believe hat to go along with the foundational principles here.  I don’t quite get how the ghosts get to pick what material they can go through, and when, but hey, it’s a movie.

I don’t quite get the movie pitch – a war against ghosts – but it does end up working.  There are casualties that have meaning, including youth.  The final combat scene is really well filmed… it feels very action-y.  There’s liberal use of slow-mo to help sell the idea that ghosts have some sort of weight to the world.

I was pleasantly surprised by the overall quality.

 

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