Posts Tagged ‘science fiction’

The ultimate resort: VICE, where customers can play out their wildest fantasies is shaken up when artificial inhabitants becomes self- aware.What starts off as a respectable sci-fi thriller never really explorers or develops its interesting premise turning into a chase picture with guns being uninspiringly fired left right and centre poorly imitating The Matrix’s (1999) modish feel in the latter half.

It’s reminiscent in part of Michael Crichton’s West World (1973) and Future World’s (1976) concept that then delves into the realms of a staged The Purge: Anarchy (2014) mixed with a pleasure park gone wrong and carbon copied Blade Runner dialogue scattered though out. What sits uncomfortably in Andre Fabrizio and Jeremy Passmore’s dialogue and Brian A Miller’s depiction, is that the park goers fantasies are either excessively sexual or sick and awfully violent in contrast in tone to the exaggerated gun play action.

With great physique not even Ambyr Childers’ look and performance as Kelly lighting up each scene as the park’s on the run self-aware artificial robot can help the clumsily action and expository sequences. With a lack of back story Thomas Jane tries his hardest with a clunky script and given his performance in the comparable Surrogates (2009) Bruce Willis is flat and looks bored. Bryan Greenberg’s Evan and Brett Granstaff’s James feel miscast and actors Charlotte Kirk and Johnathon Schaech are sorely underused.

As well as the classics there’s The Machine (2013), Automata (2014), Impostor (2001) and other quality low-budget movies or the Almost Human TV Series to name a few which have tackled the themes in a superior fashion.

Even the sequel enticing ending feels forced. Aesthetically Vice looks great and the score is fitting to the well-lit sterile environments. If only Vice we’re half as good as the actors cast, lighting and locale it could have been an entertaining A.I film to add to the shelf.

Advertisements

Two great pieces of news.

The Dead Pulse Special Edition Kindle cover.

The Dead Pulse Special Edition Kindle cover.

If you’re a zombie/Dead Pulse fan (and since the novel’s 1st edition has gone out of print) the undead return to life in special Kindle edition of Dead Pulse with a Night of the Living Dead inspired cover. You can relive the blood curdling adventure again.

The Final Version has had a makeover and now the cover also shows more of the original artist excellent painting.

2015/01/img_0894.jpg

The Final Version novel promo

Get you hands on The Final Version or Dead Pulse today.

IMG_0766-0.JPGAn insurance agent at a robotics company makes a discovery that has profound consequences for his family, A.I and the human race.

Director Gabe Ibañez offers a mix of high concept and subtle thought provoking science fiction. Autómata while having a sprinkling of explosions and shootout moves away from the Terminator-esque killer Robots, inevitably comparison can be drawn to the likes of The Machine, Hardware, Blade Runner, Silent Running and I-Robot to name a few but Ibañez offering has its own atmosphere. It’s underlining slow burning tension drives it, refreshingly the clunky robots feel more real than today’s saturated CGI driven movies and works in the films favour.

It leaves the impression of being a small and personal tale. It’s superbly filmed with sweeping wasteland locations in contrast to the holographic adverts and crowded city streets that Jacq (Antonio Banderas’ character) walks with trepidation. The old soundtrack tunes are fitting, harking back to a time long forgotten which compliments the score and sound design.

The casting is as diverse as the scifi elements, Tim McInnerny plays against typecast as the corporate villain. Banderas delivers a perfect washed up Jacq, with Dylan McDermott, Melanie Griffith and Robert Forester putting in fitting extended cameo performances. The stars of the show are the elusive robots themselves that tug at the heart strings as Jacq comes to terms with that these Robots may be more than just parts.

Overall, an interesting, atmospheric scifi drama with heart.

Update: The Final Version peaked at #12 in the USA cyber punk Kindle Chart. Thank you for making it happen👍🌆🔫
31 August The Final Version peaked at #12 in the USA #ScienceFiction #cyberpunk chart http://t.co/YcHPtOOcoN There’s only 24 hours left to get your #free copy.

IMG_0249.JPG

THE FINAL VERSION CoverSet a reminder!
Updated 1 Sep 2014 : The Final Version peaked at #12 in the USA cyber punk Kindle Chart. Thank you for making it happen👍🌆🔫
For this weekend only my science fiction The Final Version kindle edition will be totally free, journey through the history of genetics and be catapulted to a post-apocalyptic future, a conflicted dystopian utopia of cyberpunk, cryogenics and government-conspiracy.

Watch the trailer here:

Get it free this weekend here:
http://www.amazon.com/The-Final-Version-A-Esmonde-ebook/dp/B00K34ZPSA

THE FINAL VERSION CoverI haven’t blogged much lately, the reason being I wanted to surprise readers with a brand new book – The Final Version. To give you a little background the original manuscript dates back to 2008! Now six years in the making The Final Version, my third novel, and first science fiction is out now on paperback and Kindle.

The trailer:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f895hM2wpZ8

Journey through the history of genetics and be catapulted to a post-apocalyptic future, a conflicted dystopian utopia of cyberpunk, cryogenics and government-conspiracy. London… The future, Jan Denton is abducted close to Big Ben Redux and is taken across the Atlantic Tunnel to the Oval Skyscraper, New York. He is accused of various murders of famed figures throughout history. Is Denton really Vasco, the killer of these prominent individuals? How could one person live so long? Time is running out as Denton must try to unravel the mystery before an assassin who knows the truth tracks him down. Are you unique or simply the final version?

 

The Press Release.

The people of San Francisco are being duplicated by an alien organism and replaced while they sleep with an emotionless copy. A handful of citizens who realise the truth try to escape the invasion.

Opening with a distant planet and it’s life-form’s journey to earth with its spore spouting (thanks to some well executed) effects, it’s a quality production. Like it’s 1956 predecessor what’s interesting is the refreshing angle how a scifi invasion flick can be handled without spaceships and green men. As well as the number of subtexts to discover there’s also a San Francisco undertone of a city changing. Here so convincingly true to life are the expected reactions including terror, humour and wit from the characters. It’s relevant covering inherent fears of paranoia which is probably a testament to why the 1978 version is so well regarded.

A lot of attention has gone into the background activities on display as the characters discover something is not quite right, there is great self aware camera work and realistic settings, natural lighting and so on, it’s hard not to like director Philip Kaufman’s finely constructed science fiction. Overall, subtle in places, it’s intense in others with chases and effective hard hitting scenes featuring ghastly half formed pod people, including a part man part dog alien. The special effects holdup and are still creepy.

Complete with a cameo for Kevin McCarthy of the original this is both Donald Sutherland and Brooke Adams (complete with hairy armpits) arguably finest performances, with the likes of energetic Jeff Goldblum, Veronica Cartwright and Leonard Nimoy in their respective supporting roles.

Thanks to a convincing script from W.D. Richter, Kaufman’s fine direction coupled with Jack Finney’s solid novel source material and the natural delivery of the actors, Invasion of the Body Snatchers is still a credible, mature and tour de force of mistrust and conspiracy.

A must see for serious science fiction fans.

20140320-184655.jpg

Astronauts are left stranded in space when debris hits their shuttle, with a limited air supply they are left fighting for survival.

Director Alfonso Cuaron offers an interesting, intense tour-de-force that will leave most viewers with sweaty palms and a lump in their throat. Sandra Bullock is above her usual form as Stone, while Matt Kowalski’s cock sure character played by George Clooney’s is as exceptional as the first rate special effects on display. Considering the small cast the pace is fast with never a dull moment as it moves from one spacewalk to the next.

The film feels very much based in reality, the first person perspective shots are used sparingly and effectively, they add to the claustrophobic feeling in contrast to sweeping views and emptiness of space which adds to the tension. Orbit and space has never felt or looked so real thanks to the benchmark effects.

While the story doesn’t break any new ground, it’s a basic yarn, visually it excels all expectations, Alfonso and Jonás Cuarón’s screenplay has some interesting touches and dialogue one of which notably features Clooney’s character and overall it comes full circle to a satisfying conclusion. Cuaron and crew’s faultless execution, coupled with a fitting soundtrack, score and some fantastic sound design deliver a heart pounding and moving tale.

A milestone cinema, which raises the special effects bar, highly recommended.

20140320-184531.jpg

Set in the year 2154, a man-made space station with wealthy residents comes under threat when one of the inhabitants of the now ruined Earth threatens to bring equality to their polarised worlds.
 
Elysium has an earthy realism like director Neill Blomkamp’s own District 9 (2009), the special effects are outstanding, the on location feel, costumes, sets and music score gives it a gritty atmosphere. On display is a realistic overpopulated future Earth in contrast to the spatial Elysium both of which are wonderfully realised.
 
Matt Damon proved his worth as an action star with intelligence and stealth in The Bourne Identity (2002) but he appears slightly miscast here – that said he does a good enough job and brings some needed emotion and likability to his characters unsavoury past. Jodie Foster is simply outstanding as Delacourt, a steely no-nonsense executive although her screen time is limited. Villain Kruger played by District 9’s Sharlto Copley – and like Foster – freshly plays against the stereo-type Hollywood antagonists. There’s also a strong supporting cast including the likes of William Fichtner and Alice Braga with each of the supporting characters right down to Kruger’s sidekicks being developed and given attention by writer, director Blomkamp.
 
As with Blomkamp’s previous outing there plenty of subtext in the screenplay and amongst the great action setups and visual spectacles there’s also a straight forward story for all to enjoy. As with any film and especially in science fiction it’s difficult to come up with entirely original ideas and Elysium is no exception but everything is packaged arguably better and more authentic than in other recent sci-fi movies.
 
It’s not Blomkamp’s masterpiece but it’s still a finely executed science fiction with shrewdness which certainly raises the bar in terms visual effects. In addition, it has more to say than most films of the genre.
 
A spaceship crash lands on the now inhabitable Earth, a millennium after events which forced that humanity to flee. With his father injured a boy must embark on a perilous journey to ensure their rescue.
 
Just like A-lister sci-fi Oblivion (2013) After Earth lacks originality mainly borrowing the back story of Starship Troopers (1997) and Outlander (2008). However, to M. Night Shyamalan’s credit while not as visually slick as its rival, After Earth is easier to connect with thanks to its simple premise, family and father and son themes.
 
There’s no intricate storyline, nor is it action packed. It’s a basic sci-fi survival adventure about a boy facing his fears. Those expecting a Will Smith film may be disappointed as it focuses mostly on Jaden and his character of Kitai Raige, while not the best looking lead actor he carries the film adequately with Smith Sr. playing against type cast as a serious general.
 
Shyamalan, Smith and Gary Whitta’s central story line getting from point a to b in a hostile environment is broken up with a few flashback and dream sequences, with an appearance from Zoë Kravitz. The effects for the most part are striking and the hostile environment wonderfully realised.
 
Overall, it’s a solid popcorn science fiction adventure.
 
After Earth on IMDB