Category: Movie Review

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John Carpenter’s Contribution to Speculative and Science Fiction Film

 

This week, speculative fiction blog Aurelia Leo published an article I wrote on legendary SF director John Carpenter.  Over the decades I’ve searched out any property I could find that Carpenter has directed.  Find my thoughts on many of his SF films at the link, including THEY LIVE, PRINCE OF DARKNESS, THE THING, and ESCAPE FROM NEW YORK.

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TSJ Talks Inspirations for The War Beneath

 

TSJ Talks Inspirations for The War Beneath

When I was a teenager I read a lot of 1950s Science Fiction. It was the tail end of the “Golden Age of Science Fiction.” Asimov, Pohl, Heinlein, del Rey and more. I fell in love with the genre because of those books. They sparked my imagination and took me to fascinating locations in futuristic settings. The stakes were always huge. It’s those books that really taught me how important YA Science Fiction is. Readers get hooked on the genre early; it’s what happened to me.

An Interpretation of BIRD BOX

 

TSJ Interprets BIRD BOX, a Netflix Original

BIRD BOX is a gripping horror/survival/post-apocalyptic film. The disaster reveal happens near the beginning of the movie, but it does not explain the “monsters” in any real detail (more on this later). This is another film in the horror sub-genre involving a sensory deprivation. Recent examples include DON’T BREATHE and A QUIET PLACE. In those films, the story forces characters to remain silent or risk death. In the case of BIRD BOX, however, the sense involved is sight. If the characters see the monster, they die — in this case, victims kill themselves after witnessing the creatures.

TSJ Reviews HOLD THE DARK

 

TSJ Reviews HOLD THE DARK

Film: HOLD THE DARK, An Original @Netflix #Movie
Starring: Jeffrey Wright, Riley Keough, Alexander Skarsgard
Directed by: Jeremy Saulnier
Screenplay by: Macon Blair
Based on the Novel By: William Giraldi

This is a captivating and moody film holding layer upon layer of meaning that will keep viewers guessing until the end. It’s compelling and engaging, thanks to strong acting and beautiful cinematography, and it reminded me of WIND RIVER crossed with THE REVENANT. It’s a mystery, a crime thriller, and a brutal examination of the thin line that divides human from animal. Answers are not stated outright, but the clues are all there … so watch closely.

TSJ Considers Telling a Truth … or Taking a Dare

 

TSJ Reviews TRUTH OR DARE and Ruminates on Blumhouse Productions

FILM: TRUTH OR DARE
Stars: Lucy Hale, Tyler Posey, Violett Beane
Director: Jeff Wadlow (KICK ASS 2, CRY WOLF, NEVER BACK DOWN)
Writers: Michael Reisz, Jillian Jacobs
Production Co.: Blumhouse Productions
Budget: $3 500 000

I purchased TRUTH OR DARE on Blu/DVD/Digital Download for roughly $25.00 at the local Best Buy. It’s how I watch many films. The price is right, especially when you’re getting both a physical copy along with a digital download. I picked TRUTH OR DARE this week not because of the title or concept, but more because of the producer’s track record.