Movies & TV


If it seems to you as it does to me that the quality of sf movies of late varies in inverse proportion to their budgets, Cory Doctorow may shed some light on how the big noisy $au$age is made.  Check it out: Why Science Fiction Movies Drive Me Nuts.

I’ve just been rereading the reviews that sent me to see this film. If this is what passes for “cerebral” we’re in trouble. The ending, supposedly so elusive, I knew about the time the first blood flowed. It should be obvious to anyone who sat through seasons of Lost for that permutation on the same horrible ending. The performers give it their all. The writers prove themselves their own best fans, and I’m sure their fans love it/them. There are lots of good bits. The zombie arm was a fave. Bradley Whitford and Richard Jenkins were terrific. The metastory, however, is every bit as predictable as the story it gives the meta treatment to. Not that the ending isn’t impressive in its own way. You could stick it on the end of anything. That must be where I’ve seen it before.

I loved this movie. Science fiction purists will hate it. If you’re the sort of person who wants to see tidal destruction and intricately plausible explanations of the impossible (with explosions), this movie’s not for you. It is a given that there is a mirror Earth. You see it over and over in the sky. But the main character, Rhoda, isn’t a scientist; she only wanted to be one, was destined for MIT until she fucked up, went to prison, and is cleaning bathrooms. It’s her story, her attempt to redeem herself that makes this such a beautiful film. I can’t remember the last time I’ve rooted so hard for a character. Though the science is mostly ignored, the film still captures, it seems to me, the importance another world, another other would be to us, much more profoundly than the usual “harder” sci-fi fare.  Mike Cahill and Brit Marling’s script is remarkable, and I won’t spoil its surprises.   Marling’s Rhoda, however, is the film’s treasure.  See it while you can, its run seems to be limited.

_