Surrogates Opens September 25

Surrogates (2009)Walt Disney offers up this big-budget science fiction action adventure, in which people vicariously live out their fantasies by having their conscioussness inhabit artificial bodies. Sounds like an interesting premise for exploring how technology can changes our lives, but you just know Hollywood needs some kind of generic plot device to drive the story – and sure enough, the whole thing hinges on a murder investigation. 
Director Jonathan Mostow re-unites with the TERMINATOR 3 writing team of Michael Ferris & Jonathan D. Brancato, whose hit-and-miss career also includes TERMINATOR SALVATION, CATWOMAN, PRIMEVAL, and THE NET. Bruce Willis headlines the cast, but you will be hard pressed to hear him mentioned in the televsion advertising (is he no longer a star, or did his contract forbid Disney from using his name?). Rounding out the cast are Radha Mitchell (ROGUE), Rosamund Pike, James Cromwell (BABE), and Ving Rhames.

12 Monkeys (1995) – Science Fiction Film Review

An Ambitious and amazing feature-length re-imagining of the classic short subject “La Jetee.”

This is feature-length remake of LA JETEE, the short-subject masterpiece by Chris Marker that portrayed time travel as a kind of moebius strips folding back on itself. The original short was a remarkable piece of film-making with a style inextricably linked to its content. Perhaps LA JETEE’s auteur, Chris Marker, was simply using techniques from his documentary background (the story is told in a series of still frames, with a voice-over narrating the events); however, those frozen moments of time cannot help but enhance a story about the nature of time and returning to specific moments over and over again.
In retrospect, there was never any chance that 12 MONKEYS would turn out to be a literal remake; instead, it is a re-imagining of the basic premise, dramatized in conventional dramatic terms. Needless to say, director Terry Gilliam films his actors at twenty-four frames per second, not in still photographs. Nevertheless, 12 MONKEYS is not simply a Hollywood mainstreaming of a European art film. In fact, this independently financed effort was probably the most difficult and challenging film released by a major studio (Universal Pictures) in 1995. Continue reading “12 Monkeys (1995) – Science Fiction Film Review”