Seven Sci-Fi Substitutes

In I spied... on July 21, 2010 at 12:25 pm

Warning: I’m about to offend science fiction film lovers everywhere.

Last night I went to see the new Leonardo DiCaprio flick, Inception with my film-loving father. We knew we were in trouble as soon as the trailers proceeded to advertise one deplorable upcoming sci-fi/ 3D release after another. To say we lost faith in the film industry with every passing minute of the movie is an understatement. Within the first fifteen minutes of the film’s start, I had developed an excruciating migraine that almost left me in tears by the time my father had dropped me home. On listing what I think was wrong with the film? First of all they conned us into thinking that by casting Leonardo DiCaprio we might get to witness some acting or character exploration. We didn’t. The plot? Preposterous– a perfect example of Hollywood’s obsession with special effects, slowly but surely over-riding the idea of story-telling.

The scary thing is that so many people actually liked this film. “A scintillating exploration of dreams,” I read aloud in disbelief this morning, rolling my eyes. I would personally say this film is closer to the wet dream of an obsessed video-gamer who hasn’t had a good night’s sleep since the release of the Matrix in 1999 (and by the way I did actually enjoy the Matrix).

If there is a reason why I didn’t follow what was going on it was because there was no reason to care about what was going on. It might have been useful if someone had bothered to mention exactly how Leonardo and the rest of his low-budget cast were able to plug wires from a metal suitcase into their wrists, instantly dream on demand and then play bang-bang shoot em up, all in one connected, communal dream. That’s fascinating technology, but where did you say I could get one again?

Ok, let me try to say something nice….

Inception has very impressive special effects– it’s just too bad I had already seen them all in the film’s trailer.

Sorry, let me try that again….

It was a worthy investment just to be able to say that I sat through it.

I’m sorry, this just isn’t working.


Now for the rest of us that like to live down here on earth, I’ve prepared a much-needed list of upcoming ‘sci-fi substitutes’ for you to check out.

1. The Town

From the Director of Gone Baby, Gone.

2. Gainsbourg

A sexy art-house pleaser for certain and a chance to brush up on your French.

3. Cairo Time

Looks to be a mix of controversial romance, beautiful cinematography and good acting from unfamiliar faces.

4. The Prince of Broadway

If you thought Precious was an important contribution to film, this should be up your alley. A raw insight into the struggles of a black, single father in New York, reviews say the story is engrossing, touching and goes beyond race and colour.

5. Eat, Pray, Love

Based on Elizabeth Gilbert’s best-selling novel which is still sitting unread on my desk (that reminds me), Eat, Pray, Love brings Julia Roberts back to our screens in what looks like an Erin Brockovich style performance.

6. World’s Greatest Dad

Who doesn’t love Robin Williams at his best? I think he’s back with this black comedy.

7. Never Let Me Go

Based on what was called “the novel of the decade” by TIME magazine; Carrie Mulligan and Kiera Knightley together on screen– probably worth watching.




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