Original Sci-Fi

Tenet • Member Bonus Episode

January 25, 2021

Is this film the peak of Nolan delivering all plot and technique but light on characters? If so, why is it still so engaging to watch? And the big question – can you walk someone else through it after watching it? Tune in to this special member bonus episode to get answers to these questions and more!

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Equilibrium • Member Bonus

December 25, 2020

Is gun-kata cool or just a bunch of nonsense when put in the hands of police clerics? For a story that’s pulled from a number of other prominent dystopian classics, does anything here feel original? How are the performances? Tune in to this week’s show to get these answers and more!

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Predestination

May 24, 2018

Time travel stories come in all shapes and sizes. Some are more focused on the fun and entertainment. Others use the conceit to allow for explorations of themes and ideas. Robert A. Heinlein’s short story “—All You Zombies—” is more the latter, and the Spierig brothers – Michael and Peter – do a great job adapting it for the silver screen with their film Predestination. And while it’s easy to get lost in time loops and find fault in rules and story construction, this film is an easy one to enjoy with the paradoxes presented because of the themes and concepts it develops.

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Interstellar

May 17, 2018

Christopher Nolan certainly is a filmmaker with ambition. People may argue one way or the other about his story construction, or his editing style, or his attachment to film even, but it’s hard to argue that he’s not a filmmaker who is working hard to push big ideas out into the world of film. His 2014 film Interstellar, which he wrote with his brother Jonathan, pushes ideas about interstellar space travel, about space-time, about a dying Earth, about wormholes, about black holes – about leaving our planet – and creates a film that feels as much a scientific thesis as it does a story. Is it perfect? No. But the ambition and passion shine through in every frame. Join us as we continue our time travel series with Nolan’s film Interstellar

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Timecrimes

May 3, 2018

After receiving an Oscar nomination for his short film 7:35 de la mañana, Spanish director Nacho Vigalondo went to work using his moment of glory to get his first feature written and financed. As is so often the case, he finally got it released years later, but Timecrimes was critically acclaimed and became quite the sci-fi festival darling. Unfortunately, it wouldn’t get the push it needed for its theatrical release and it died a quiet death at the box office. Luckily, its quality has kept people talking about it and watching it. Join us as we kick off our Time Travel series with Vigalondo’s 2007 film Timecrimes

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E.T.: The Extra-Terrestrial

June 15, 2017

Steven Spielberg didn’t have a sense that his little, personal alien film was going to blow up like it did when he was making it. Universal Studios saw it as another kids film that likely would only be seen by moms taking their kids to the theater. But E.T.: The Extra-Terrestrial managed to touch pretty much the hearts of everyone who saw it, turning it into the #1 film in the world in short order.

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Metropolis

May 12, 2016

Fritz Lang’s sci-fi classic has really been through the wringer since it’s premiere in 1927. After having been cut nearly in half then reshaped, people have struggled over the decades to restore the 2 ½ hour film to its full glory but to little avail. In 2008, however, a 16mm print of a horribly scratched copy of the nearly full version was found in Buenos Aires and the film was given new life. It’s since been beautifully restored and is a marvel to watch, even with the scratches. 

Join us – Pete Wright and Andy Nelson – as we begin our Fritz Lang series with “Metropolis.”

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Seconds

June 19, 2015

James Wong Howe shot color films very well, but it was his black-and-white cinematography that he was really known for. He won two Oscars for his B&W cinematography and played with many techniques that influenced filmmakers and cinematographers long after he was gone. The camera work on John Frankenheimer’s 1966 film “Seconds” is no exception. It fits the tone of the film perfectly, creating a sense of unease and discomfort quite often. Join us — Pete Wright and Andy Nelson — as we finish our B&W cinematography of James Wong Howe with Frankenheimer’s “Seconds.”

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Inception

February 21, 2014

It’s a sad state to consider that Christopher Nolan had to fight to get money to make “Inception” because it wasn’t a sequel, based on a comic book, a remake, or something similar. It was purely an original script about a wild inverted heist taking place inside someone’s dreams. It’s a marvel of a film, and we conclude our latest Original Sci-Fi series with this non-benevolent alien movie, Nolan’s 2010 film, “Inception.”

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The Abyss

February 14, 2014

When the extended trailer for James Cameron’s 1989 undersea scifi spectacular, “The Abyss,” was released, it set the stage for an epic film that promised to deliver “Aliens” underwater. When the film was released, it received good reviews and earned its money back, but wasn’t what people expected. But 3 years later, Cameron was able to return to it and release an extended version with nearly 30 minutes of new material, including an extended ending. Join us — Pete Wright and Andy Nelson — as we continue our Original SciFi series with “The Abyss.”

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