While many people associate science fiction with Star Wars and the Star Trek reboot- today I thought I would make a video -focusing on the less well known, Hard science fiction.
This is a category of sc-ifi characterised by an emphasis on scientific accuracy, rather than action & explosions. Mind you that doesn’t mean Hard Sci-fi doesn’t have its fair share of drama. It does like to focus on the real world, but from the perspective of beyond the status quo.
Directed by Duncan Jones tells the story of Astronaut Sam Bell the only inhabitant of an automated mining base, who's close to the end of his three-year shift on the moon.Sam Rockwell plays Sam, who's only social company is his colleague - a robot called GERTY who's voiced by Kevin Spacey.
Rockwell carries this film, not because he's the only person in the movie, but due to his convincing performance combined with Spacey’s monotone voice acting. Moon is one of those movies that gets under your skin, where the drama is very realistic, and it's filled with tons of anger, depression and hope.
Set where genetic engineering is the most common form of childbirth. Where the rich can obtain massive advantages for their offspring. Ethan Hawke's character Vincent is a naturally born man, who society deems as a second class citizen. The story Kicks off when Vincent, who dreams of working within space exploration switches identity with Jerome a disabled valid played by Jude law, in an attempt to become an astronaut.
This is one of Ethan Hawke's strongest performances- as a man who relies on sheer willpower to achieve his goals. And Jude Law is fantastic as an unhappy man who doesn't quite fit in the
society he's born into. Gattaca deals with sci-fi and the future in the best possible way, by exploring ideas. - It's stylish, thought-provoking, and foregoes special effects to focus on story and character development.
2001: A Space Odyssey 1968
Stanley Kubrick’s mind-bending epic - Set in two specific time periods, one preistoric, one futuristic-The film focus on humanity's discovery of a mysterious artificial object buried beneath the moon surface. When the point of origin is confirmed as Jupiter, an expedition is sent in hopes of finding the source of this mysterious object.
While the human cast aren't that memorable, never has a machine held such a chilling screen presence as HAL 9000. 2001 A Space Odyssey is not character driven- it's all in the experience. Kubrick created a film that requires you to relax and witness strange but beautiful images. So if you don’t find that type of movie entertaining, then I would strongly not recommend this.
Robot & Frank 2012
A Jack Schreier's comedy is set in the near future, a retired jewel thief has two grown children who are concerned he can no longer live alone. Instead of a nursing home Franks son buys him a robot butler programmed to look after him. But Frank soon learns that this new companion could become a useful aide.
This movie is all about the characters, staying fun the whole way throughout. Where Frank Langella is great playing Frank - who tries to restart his old profession, and of course Peter Sarsgaard who's voice acting fits the robot perfectly.
While not intended to be a Sci-fi - Frank & Robot is funny and sad in equal measure as it explores the depth of the human soul, while taking you through a story - that is both original and very well written.
The Martian 2015
Directed by Ridley Scott is based on the novel of the same name by Andy Weir. - During a manned mission to Mars, Matt Damon's character Astronaut Mark Watney becomes stranded after a fierce storm and is presumed dead. But Watney somehow survives - and with only a minor amount of supplies, must rely on his ingenuity, to find a way to signal to Earth, that he’s still alive.
Matt Damon is perfectly cast as the wisecracking astronaut where it's his optimism toward his survival that keeps you invested in the story. The Martian makes a great effort at interjecting real science into drama, it's fun smart movie, with great direction and production- it never leaves
you bored and should be enjoyed by any fan of Sci-fi.
Ex Machina 2014
Alex Garland's stylish directorial debut - stars Domhnall Gleeson as Caleb Smith, a young programmer at internet-search giant BlueBook. Who is selected to participate in a ground-breaking experiment in synthetic intelligence at the estate of the company's CEO, Nathan Bateman played by Oscar Isaac.
Alicia Vikander's performance as Ava the beautiful and seductive android is so good, that I almost forgot she wasn't an AI. Gleeson & Isaac also have very realistic and solid performances in their respective roles.
Ex Machina has a simple plot dealing with a deeply complex and philosophical topic: what makes humans human. The movie is thoroughly engaging and strikes the perfect balance of not spoon feeding it's audience and not being too intellectual.
The Andromeda strain 1971
Directed by Robert Wise is based on Michael Crichton's novel of the same name. After the people of a small Arizona town are wiped out by some form of unknown contagion emitted from a crashed satellite. The American government forms a team of scientists to eliminate this threat before it spreads nationwide.
The cast in this movie really do feel like were born to play their roles - where you could easily believe that they are actual scientists, especially Arthur Hill the leader of the research team. The science in the Andromeda Strain is accurate - In fact, it's the probably most accurate of all the Sci-Fi
movies I've seen.
One of the great things about the film is it's tight pacing. So many movies of these type lag on, especially at the beginning. However, in the Andromeda Strain, even the first scene is dramatic and holds your attention.
Directed by Robert Zemeckis is a faithful adaptation of Carl Sagan’s novel of the same name. Where Astronomer Dr. Ellie Arroway, has long been interested in contact to faraway lands. After years of searching, and being mocked by the science community she finds conclusive radio proof of intelligent life, who send her team a mysterious plan to build a large machine.
Jodie foster playing Dr Arroway is exceptional where she delivers a character with high intellect and strong feelings alongside an impressive script and supporting cast. The movie covers the what ifs on private enterprise vs. government interests, and the conflicts, and potential common ground, between scientific and religious points of view.Contact is a pretty refreshingly different film - with great acting, directing and sound design.