Posts Tagged ‘science-fiction’

Movie Review – Shin Godzilla (2016)

Today we’re taking a look at Shin Godzilla, a 2016 Japanese film that happens to be the 31st film in the popular Godzilla monster movies.  Also known as Godzilla ResurgenceShin Godzilla is a reboot of the franchise and pits the famous lizard monster in modern-day Tokyo.

Directed by Hideaki Anno and Shinji HiguchiShin Godzilla features a Japanese cast full of people you’ve probably never heard of, unless Japanese films and TV shows are one of your passions.

Shin Godzilla (2016) – movie poster

Set in the present day, Shin Godzilla begins with the Japan Coast Guard discovering an abandoned yacht in Tokyo Bay.  Just as the sailors are preparing to have it towed to shore, suddenly the boat is destroyed in a huge spray of water.  The disturbance also breaks into a tunnel and begins to flood it, killing an untold number of people.  At first the disturbance is seen as just a random event, but when viral videos begin to show a massive creature moving underwater (and straight to the shore), the government officials rush to form a plan.

Ideas are exchanged and options include sitting back and doing nothing, trying to capture it alive so that it can be studied, or exterminating the creature and ending its unknown threat to the city.  Government officials downplay the threat of the creature as its believed that the creature’s legs will be unable to support the weight of its tremendous body on land.  That theory is quickly dismissed as the creature swims up a river, crawls onto land, and start squirming and smashing its way through streets and buildings.  While the creature tears a path of destruction, the government races to evacuate as many people as possible. Read more…

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Be the first to comment - What do you think?  Posted by Dan - May 13, 2017 at 3:34 pm

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Movie Review – Ex Machina (2015)

Recently I watched the movie Ex Machina, a science-fiction psychological thriller that was released in 2015.  Although this is was produced as an independent film and with a small budget compared to today’s big blockbusters, Ex Machina still packs a major punch.

Directed by Alex GarlandEx Machina stars Domhnall GleesonOscar Isaac, and Alicia Vikander as the three main characters in the film.  You may not know their names, but I’m sure you’ll recognize at least two of their faces, especially if you’re a fan of the Harry Potter films as well as the new Star Wars trilogy.

Anyway, Ex Machina focuses on robotics and, more importantly, artificial intelligence.  The main story involves a computer programmer who gets the opportunity of a lifetime to test a robot’s intelligence and see if it really can think like a human being.

Ex Machina (2015) – movie poster

Ex Machina begins with computer programmer Caleb Smith (Domhnall Gleeson) winning an office contest.  He works for the world’s biggest Internet search engine company, Blue Book, and as the contest winner, he gets to spend a week at the luxurious home of the company’s CEO, Nathan Bateman (Oscar Isaac).

A helicopter flies Caleb deep into the mountains and drops him off in a field of grass.  From there, Caleb hikes into a forest and reaches what looks like a small shack.  The structure is actually a facade for a secure entrance.  Once Caleb proves his identity to the security system (automated, of course), he’s given an access card and allowed to enter the mostly underground compound.  Caleb explores part of the house and finds Nathan finishing a workout.  Nathan is pleased to meet Caleb, and he makes mention that the morning workout helps him recover from his hangover from last night.

Nathan takes Caleb to the room where he’ll be spending the night for the next week.  He talks Caleb into signing a strict non-disclosure agreement before revealing that he’s been working on artificial intelligence.  His latest robot has already passed the Turing test, and he wants Caleb, a programmer who is used to thinking outside the box and developing unique solutions to problems, to administer the final intelligence tests on the robot, determining if it is genuinely capable of rational thought and consciousness. Read more…

Be the first to comment - What do you think?  Posted by Dan - May 11, 2017 at 7:31 am

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Book Review – Andy Weir’s “The Martian”

Last week I finished reading The Martian, a thrilling science-fiction story involving human survival on planet Mars.  Written by Andy WeirThe Martian is a hauntingly realistic look at just how a person can survive living on the Red Planet, should such an emergency occur.

Andy Weir — The Martian

Set in the year 2035The Martian begins with a tremendous sandstorm on Mars.  The crew of NASA’s Ares 3 mission had just landed on the planet a few days ago, but the strong storm forces them to abort their mission.  The fierce winds are dangerously close to tipping over the rocket that ferries them back to their orbiting spacecraft, Hermes.

As the astronauts are walking to their rocket, a gust of wind breaks loose an antenna, and astronaut Mark Watney is hit and knocked away, His vital signs go offline and the crew believes that he’s dead.  They make an attempt to find him, but the storm is simply too strong and they’re forced to blast off.  They do so unable to recover Watney’s body.  The crew reaches the Hermes, and they begin their long trek back home to Earth.

However, Mark Watney is still alive.

The broken antenna and his blood created a seal around the hole in his spacesuit, and Mark is able to make it back into the habitat and treat his injury.  There’s no communication with NASA as the antenna was destroyed in the storm.  Watney knows that his chances of rescue are incredibly bleak, but he’s forced to analyze his situation and figure out a way to survive as long as possible.  Watney finishes each day by logging his thoughts, ideas and plans for the next day in a journal.  He hopes that one day the journal will be recovered and people will learn what really happened to him. Read more…

Be the first to comment - What do you think?  Posted by Dan - May 9, 2017 at 9:48 am

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