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Flash Movie Review: Life

YEARS of reading and watching science fiction books and movies may be the reason why I believe there could be other life forms in the universe. Even if I was not a fan of the fantasy/science fiction genre, I was always open to the possibility we humans were not alone. I could never be convinced that out of the entire universe the planet Earth was the only place that could sustain life. One of the arguments I have heard is our planet is the only one that can sustain oxygen breathing beings; but I would counter that proposal by questioning the logic of oxygen being the only element that can support life. What if an alien species’ anatomy only needed carbon monoxide to exist? Unless they come to us I understand there is no way to prove this thought, since I do not know if we will ever evolve to a point where we will have the ability to deconstruct and rematerialize on another world via a transporting device or be able to travel in a spaceship at warp speed.     DURING my studies in college I had a literature course that covered several genres of fiction, including science fiction. For my midterm project I used several rolls of infrared film along with close-up camera lenses to create a photo album that I claimed was proof of foreign existence. The things I photographed represented places we had read about in our required reading list. Our instructor had us put our projects on display around the lecture hall and each of us had to explain what we had done. After we each gave our talks, the students were allowed to walk around and study each item before voting on their favorite in a secret ballot. It turned out not only did I get an “A” on my midterm project but my alien photo album was voted the favorite. From some of the comments I received the majority of my classmates loved how I had shown both friendly and non-friendly aliens. Hopefully I am only right about the good aliens.     WORKING in precise maneuvers six astronauts must retrieve a satellite returning from Mars that might contain proof there may be life existing on another planet. This science fiction thriller had some intense, exciting scenes right from the start. Starring Jake Gyllenhaal (Nocturnal Animals, Prisoners) as David Johnson, Ryan Reynolds (Deadpool, The Proposal) as Rory Adams, Hiroyuki Sanada (47 Ronin, The Wolverine) as Sho Murakami and Rebecca Ferguson (The Girl on the Train, Florence Foster Jenkins) as Miranda North; this horror film had some icky scenes that were hard to watch, involving blood and violence. I thought the sets and special effects were cool, while the actors did their job well. The idea of the story was fine; however, I felt the writers needed to take a different angle because as I sat watching this film I kept thinking about the movie Alien. I did not find much different in this movie though I did enjoy the surprise twists. What I did enjoy, maybe enjoy is not the right word, was the way the writers depicted life and that is all I can say about it. If you do not believe there may be extraterrestrial life, you may not be anxious to see this film. Based on my belief system, maybe you should see it.


2 1/3 stars    



Flash Movie Review: Elysium

Depending on my mood, I can usually find a movie to fulfill my needs. When I want to sit back and check out from reality, a fantasy or science fiction film is the perfect choice. To learn more about a subject, whether it is of historical or current value, I seek out a documentary. I find this to be one of the major attributes about movies; the incredible variety they offer us. There are times, however, when a film can take me by total surprise and this action filled science fiction movie was one of them. Expecting to just see a dramatic fantasy, this movie was relevant to me on a personal level. Having recently spent 2 days with a family member in a hospital emergency room and at doctor visits, I was exposed to the harsh realities of being sick. Witnessing the monumental processing and procedures placed on patients and staff, I sat and wondered how things would be if one did not have insurance or on the other hand, one had an all encompassing insurance policy. I cannot tell you the shock I had as I watched the emergency room nurses handle everything that came through their doors. My family member was fortunate to have a private space where the doctors were able to look him over; unlike the poor woman who was laid out on a gurney in the middle of the hallway. Set in the year 2154, this stunning film was about a society that was split into 2 classes. The poor and disadvantaged citizens lived on a bleak, exhausted earth while the wealthy lived on a space station called Elysium; a place that had eliminated sickness and crime. Matt Damon (Promised Land, The Adjustment Bureau) played factory worker Max. When a fatal accident left Max with only days to live; he agreed to take on a risky mission that could not only save his life, but could change the fate of the entire planet. Matt was a solid workhorse in this role, helped by the wild hardware implanted in his body. The movie’s special effects and sets were so naturally beautiful, I got lost in the realness of them. There was such detail to every shot that it made the story’s weaknesses stand out even more. I did not feel emotionally attached to any of the characters. Sadly Jodie Foster’s (Panic Room, Contact) character Delacourt Rhodes was odd to me. Why she had an accent was beyond me; I did not find her character had any depth. The strongest screen presence came from Sharlto Copley (District 9, The A-Team) as undercover agent Kruger. I could see where writer and director Neill Blomkamp (District 9) was going with this movie about the haves and have-nots; it was a valiant effort. Depending on your mood when you view this film, you will either take a trip to Elysium or sit and wish things were going better for you. A few scenes had blood in them.


2 3/4 stars

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