Tag Archives: SciFi

REVIEW: Avatar (Editor’s Selection)

Avatar poster and all images ©2009 20th Century Fox. All rights reserved.
Avatar poster and all images ©2009 20th Century Fox. All rights reserved.

There are certain films that outlive their theatrical releases to become evolutionary stepping stones of filmmaking. Long after the popcorn has been munched and the Oscars handed out, these movies stand the test of time and usher in the cinematic equivalents of geologic Eras. D.W. Griffith’s The Birth of a Nation redefined the beauty of silent imagery. Alan Crosland’s The Jazz Singer integrated sound and heralded the rise of “the talkie.” Orson Welles’s Citizen Kane became a hallmark of big-budget studio genius. And every sci-fi film of the last forty years owes debt to the standard set by Stanley Kubrick’s 2001: A Space Odyssey. And then there is Avatar. That this film, with fifteen years of creative development, four years of full-time work, and endless hype, was bound to be good seems like manifest destiny. But it doesn’t just live up to its hype—it exceeds it. James Cameron has reinvented visual possibilities, perfected multi-layered storytelling and provided a service to audiences and filmmakers. He has transitioned us into the next big cinematic Era: 3D. Avatar is a ScriptPhD.com Editor’s Selection. For a full review, please click “continue reading”.

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Behind Avatar: Science, Technology, Art and Design

Avatar ©2009 20th Century Fox. All rights reserved.
Avatar ©2009 20th Century Fox. All rights reserved.

This weekend, millions of people will flock to IMAX theaters and cinemas around the world, 3-D glasses eagerly perched, in anticipation of James Cameron’s masterpiece Avatar, a cinematic œuvre fifteen years in the making. Underscoring this two and a half our epic lie unparalleled technological, scientific and artistic achievements, including the invention of a novel 3-D film camera, the complete biological and linguistic realization of a virtual world, and flawlessly integrated art direction and conceptual renderings. Many people’s post-viewing reaction will be, “How did they do that?!” ScriptPhD.com is proud to present a special Avatar preview that includes behind-the-scenes secrets and a review of the must-own companion design book The Art of Avatar. Before you see the movie, get to know it.

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MOVIE REVIEW: District 9

Science fiction has served as fertile ground for exploring sociopolitical issues through allegory: war, oppression, prejudice, and even, on occasion, the human condition. Bet every so often, a sci-fi project comes along—Blade Runner, Children of Men, Terminator, Battlestar Galactica—that so compels and provokes, it transcends its own genre in the process. District 9 is such a film. When humans become responsible for the well-being of a population of aliens stranded over Johannesburg, South Africa, they must confront their full capacity for fear, cruelty and self-identity. With an unknown cast, a newcomer in writer/director Neill Blomkamp, and a low-profile movie locale, District 9 manages to outshine all releases thus far as the best film of 2009, and one of the best of its generation. For the full ScriptPhD.com review, please click “continue reading”.
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Review: To the Moon, Alice! To the Moon!

What is it with Hollywood releasing movies that coincide with NASA missions to outer space? Remember when Star Trek came out during the Hubble Telescope repair mission [read ScriptPhD coverage]? Moon, a thoughtful new science fiction indie feature from Liberty Films and Sony Pictures, featuring a near-solo bravura performance by Sam Rockwell, comes on the auspicious heels of NASA’s Lunar Reconnaisance Orbiter mission to remap and fortify our knowledge of Earth’s Moon and surrounding solar system that got off to a spectacular start on June 18th. ScriptPhD.com reviews Moon and discusses the LRO mission, along with some of the first days-old high-resolution topographical beamed moon images and their implications for further lunar missions. To read the article, click “continue reading”.
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