Contact-IF authors discuss JUPITER ASCENDING

Contact-IF authors discuss JUPITER ASCENDING

SFX - August 2014

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JUPITER ASCENDING opens in North American theaters today. The film is written, produced, and directed by The Wachowskis, and co-produced by Grant Hill, who acted as executive producer on The Matrix Reloaded and The Matrix Revolutions, and as producer on V for Vendetta, Speed Racer, Ninja Assassin, and Cloud Atlas, making Jupiter Ascending his seventh collaboration with the Wachowskis.

J.L. Hilton

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Our favorite science fiction movies

Our favorite science fiction movies

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The contributors to Contact-Infinite Futures talk about their favorite science fiction films.

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Timothy S. Johnston, writer of futuristic thrillers including The Furnace (2013), The Freezer (2014), and The Void (2015), says Planet of the Apes (1968), The Thing (1982), and Invasion of the Body Snatchers (1978) are his three favorite science fiction movies.

“APES was a watershed film for me. The…

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Writer Timothy S. Johnston Reviews LIVE DIE REPEAT: EDGE OF TOMORROW

Writer Timothy S. Johnston Reviews LIVE DIE REPEAT: EDGE OF TOMORROW

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Writer Timothy S. Johnston takes a trip back in time to review EDGE OF TOMORROW, on Video and Digital UltraViolet this Week

Title:    LIVE DIE REPEAT:   EDGE OF TOMORROW
Runtime:    113 min
Theatrical Release:   6 June 2014
Domestic Gross:  $100 million
International Gross:  $264 million
DVD/BLU/Digital Release: 7 October 2014
MPAA:   PG-13
Aspect Ratio:   1.77:1
Cast:    Tom Cruise, Emily Blunt, Bill…

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“Odd Thomas” is “Ghost Whisperer” for men

“Odd Thomas” is “Ghost Whisperer” for men

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Odd Thomas is a 2013 film released on DVD earlier this year and based on a series of supernatural thrillers by New York Times best selling author Dean Koontz. I watched it the other day on Netflix because, in the trailers, it bore some resemblance to John Dies at the End, a 2012 film adaptation of the SF comedy horror book of the same name by Cracked writer David Wong.

John Dies at the Endhad a…

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New superhero movie “LUCY” based on stupid urban myth of stupidity

New superhero movie “LUCY” based on stupid urban myth of stupidity

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A trailer for the upcoming superhero movie Lucy starring Scarlet Johannson and directed, written, and co-produced by Luc Besson, looked pretty damn awesome until I reached 1:13

That’s when Morgan Freeman, portraying a professor and scientific researcher who should have known better, said, “It is estimated most human beings only…

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Thoughts on Thor (and superhero movies in general)

While suffering through a sinus cold this weekend (which shows no signs of giving up anytime soon) I sat and tried to analyze why I enjoy the Marvel movie universe more than the DC one. I mean, I grew up on Green Arrow and Thor and Batman and Wonder Woman, but why did I automatically plan to see “Thor” a second time after walking out of the theater Friday night and I won’t be adding “Man of Steel” to our video collection? Why did I avoid the Nolan Batman movies like the plague but thrill to every Iron Man movie rumor and Avengers clip?

Then I realized why.

I hate being preached to.

Marvel movies are light, wonderful fluffy mind candy that takes me away to another universe where millionaires can and do build flying suits and Norse Gods find love in the strangest places, where Agent Coulson comes back from the dead and Loki is, well… just Loki. Where Captain American can say patriotic speeches without sounding trite and the Hulk makes me sad when he ponders his existence.

DC movies have lessons. Preachy, annoying lessons in film form. I don’t need Batman to discuss the Patriot Act and how invading someone’s privacy in order to serve the greater good is good/bad, I don’t need Green Lantern to teach me how to be responsible and mature at some point in my life. I don’t need Superman to teach me that killing is bad (and that’s another WHOLE discussion piece, thank you very much!)

I can get that anywhere. And I do, depending on what I watch and read.

I watch superhero movies for fun and enjoyment. I read comics for the same reason, to be entertained.

Thor entertains me. (Especially when he takes his shirt off… but that’s another topic totally.)

Cap entertains me. (Even though I’m Canadian…)

Iron Man entertains me. (Because I’m a hopeless romantic…)

Agent Coulson entertains me. (SHIELD – if you need a fluff piece writer for your PR coverups, I am available!)

Batman/Superman/GL – not so much. Because I don’t want to watch a movie slamming me in the face with moral discussions and whatnot. I want to be entertained.

Just me widdle thoughts.

Agree? Disagree?

Why I love/hate Joss Whedon- Avengers movie (spoilers!)

First – if you haven’t seen the Avengers movie you may want to move along.

Really.

I’m totally serious.

Spoilers below.

You sure?

Okay, let’s continue…

Like most of the North American population I saw The Avengers this weekend – with a husband who’s a rabid comic book fan it was more a case of “how many times” instead of “do we want to go?”… and we loved it.

But I was irked by one particular part of scripting that once had me again wondering why Joss done what he done… basically, killing off a main character to invoke emotional response not only from the audience but also the other characters.

Whedon has a track record of this. I *love* Firefly but *HATE* the movie Serenity because of the (IMO) needless deaths of Shephard Book and Wash. Two major characters from the television series that died for no real purpose other than to tick off the audience. Neither death really changed the focus of the movie and seemed to be more along the line of “I can so I will!” instead of actual plot developments.

He’s also done this with Buffy. Tara, anyone? A minor character with a great backstory and Willow’s girlfriend, breaking down *that* barrier and she gets killed by a wayward bullet.

Pleeeeeze.

Flash forward to the Avengers and Agent Phil (we’re gonna miss you!) Coulson. Here’s a guy who lucked into the BEST part-time acting job of all time – a few lines in Iron Man, a few in Thor and suddenly he’s got a job for life…

… or until Joss finished this script.

Now, don’t get me wrong – it was a gallant death, a macho death and all that. But was it needed?

I say “No”. I think having Coulson severely injured would have served the same purpose as having him killed. We know Fury doesn’t mind jerking emotions around – when Hill calls him on Coulson’s bloody near-mint Captain America trading cards he doesn’t flinch at the truth. So why would Coulson’s near-death be any more powerful than his actual death? Wouldn’t it be *more* powerful to have the Avengers assemble (yes, I went there) at Coulson’s hospital bed as he recovers and either vow there to take on Loki’s army or afterwards, telling him the job is done and all’s well?

I think Coulson’s death was another cheap trick, again, out of Whedon’s scriptwriting school of cheap emotional twists. Kill off someone that everyone loves and yank the audience’s emotions. Again. Yawn.

Coulson deserved better.

Just sayin’…

 

Watchmen… you should be reading/watching for it!

Well, the first trailer for Watchmen is out – and running not only online but also in front of “Dark Knight”, as if you needed a bigger audience to discover/rediscover this masterpiece.

Now, I know that if I say it’s based on a graphic novel that some of you are going to shrug and go “Comic book? I don’t read comic books!” – which is a fine decision based on some of the crap out there that’s being published, to be honest. I love comics dearly but some of the stuff that’s being illustrated nowadays makes me shudder – and not in a good way.

However, I remember when the first issues of Watchmen hit the stands at the Silver Snail on Queen Street West in Toronto, many many years ago. It was incredible to watch the people stripping the racks of every copy and racing to double/triple bag extra copies. It was truly a comic phenom that hasn’t really been duplicated, though many have tried.

Why?

Well, it basically turns the comic book world you may know via Batman and Superman on it’shead. The only thing that I can think of that may come close is the real-world feel of Iron Man as of late; with the movie accentuating his humanity over the cool gadgets. But I digress into a RDJ fangirl swoon…

I later purchased a copy of the graphic novel (here on Amazon, if not on the shelves of your fine local bookstore) and just wallowed in the excellent writing, drawing, extras and just plain old everything. If you’re interested even slightly in writing this is a book you need to get and devour. Each and every panel has so much symbolism and depth to it that it boggles the mind. Even now, decades later, I can pull out my ragged old copy and see more and more that I’ve missed. Not to mention that the alternative reality presented has a new perspective in light of recent events. And no, I’m not talking about more Bush-bashing. That’s gotten very old and I don’t think people realise that it kills a story/movie/comic book when you link it to a specific time in history that will eventually be over. Sort of like reading the stuff being put out during the Cold War and not understanding the perspective the people were writing from. But again, I digress.

From the main story about retired superheroes (some with powers, some not – average joes, as it were) to the bigger story to the epic sidebar of a comic within a comic and the rampant symbolism wrapped up in a beautiful package you can’t afford to not at least look over a copy of the original before the movie comes out. Really.

Get thee hence before the movie comes out and be amazed. You’ll never look at Batman or Superman or Swee… er, Iron Man in the same way again.

🙂