November 21, 2014

Space may be a vacuum, but it can still transmit sound in the form of electromagnetic vibrations. NASA recorded these vibrations and translated them into sounds we can hear. Here’s the result.

Stanley Kubrick wasn’t far off in SPACE ODYSSEY 2001. The NASA-recorded space sounds instantly reminded me of the Requiem for Soprano, Mezzo-Soprano he used for his film:

November 19, 2014

William Mortensen was an early American photographer fascinated with the grotesque. Violence, nudity and horror feature prominently in his work, leading Ansel Adams to remark, “For us [other photographers], Mortensen was the Antichrist.”

Check out his work here and here.

November 17, 2014

Great little French zombie short about a clown who wakes up from the dead, starring the great Dominique Pinon (CITY OF LOST CHILDREN, DELICATESSEN and others).

November 14, 2014

In the near future, an alien species invades Earth and spreads out across Europe. After a major victory led by Special Forces soldier Rita Vrataski, Earth recruits a massive army, equipped with the latest combat enhancement technology, to invade Europe and destroy the aliens. But it’s a trap.

Major William Cage, played by Tom Cruise, is a public relations officer who played the media to drum up support and recruitment. After irritating the commanding general, he ends up sent in with the invasion force as a private and dies within minutes during a catastrophic battle in which humanity loses everything. His death, however, triggers a time loop in which he is forced to fight the same battle again and again. Each time, he learns more about how to fight the aliens, and, teaming up with Vrataski, Cage tries to defeat them.

The action scenes were terrific, the alien life form interesting and challenging, and the time loop stuff didn’t present any glaring plot holes other than the ending, which was a bit “have your cake and eat it too.” The characterization is simplistic–Cage transforms from coward into potential savior of the world–for a simple action film, it works. (Though it would have been interesting to see the psychological toll repeatedly dying has on him. Plus why don’t they bring tanks and jet fighters on the invasion?) It didn’t have the depth that demanded repeated viewings like movies such as CHILDREN OF MEN, but again, it’s a simple action film, and compared to most other science fiction fare, it’s very entertaining. Overall, I’d rate it 3.5 or 4 out of 5 stars.

November 13, 2014

In THE LAST HALLOWEEN, a group of children go out on Halloween in a post-apocalyptic world. Great short!