Hollywood

Review – The Fictional Man by Al Ewing

Niles Golan is an ex-pat Brit in Hollywood. Never grown-up, he narrates his life with an internal monologue transforming his everyday inadequacies into triumphs. Niles is his own fictional creation: to himself, a genius novelist akin to the young Thomas Pynchon; to everyone else, the hack who writes the popular Kurt Power adventures novels. His […]

Why Hollywood Needs to Stay Out of Anime (At Least For Now)

Media apologists everywhere would have you believe that Hollywood only runs the way that it does because of this concept called “marketability.” We could never have Asian-American headliners in an Akira movie because we don’t have enough big-name Asian-American actors. We can’t keep the integrity of the original story because it’s not culturally significant to an American audience. God forbid a movie challenge an audience’s perspective on another culture or give them an insight into how other parts of the world react to certain situations

Against the Boycott of Ender’s Game

When I returned to reading science fiction as adult I discovered a whole new generation of authors:Greg Bear, David Brin, William Gibson, Octavia E. Butler, and Orson Scott Card. In each case I would read a recommended book and enjoy it so much I’d start seeking out others by them. As a movie critic I would later get excited […]

Superheroine Movie

Imagine the teaser trailer. Peeks at the iconic costume, a villain’s growled one-liner, the title looming suddenly out of the darkness with THIS CHRISTMAS or SUMMER 2014 beneath it. Imagine the interviews in Entertainment Weekly: the costume design chief noting how they “went with the more textured fabric, to get that realism in there,” the […]

Number One at the Box Office, and Still a Failure.

The movies have changed a great deal in the last twenty years.  One of the most interesting changes is that it’s not that unusual anymore for someone to review the number one most seen movie in the country, and pronounce it a failure.  There is a simple reason for this; it’s because of special effects. […]

When You Shouldn’t Read John Scalzi

Like many readers, I became a fan of John Scalzi after reading his Old Man’s War. It’s a wonderful book and it led me on to his others. I’ve now read most of his novels and even had the pleasure of writing the introduction to a collection of his film essays, 24 Frames into the […]

The Monster Makers

The spotlight last month fell on the special effects wizards who make SF monsters come to life. The crowning glory was the award of the Best Picture Oscar for Argo. This spy drama focuses on the rescue of a group of American embassy workers from  Iran, using the cover of a fake SF movie. To […]

“I Like Science Fiction, It’s Got Like Giant Robots and Stuff, Right?” Science Fiction’s Self-Esteem Problem Part III: Robots, Reboots and Remakes. How Hollywood Kills Serious Science Fiction

The only time the public pays attention to Science Fiction is when that great machine of mass marketing and “entertainment” called Hollywood inundates the collective consciousness with that most dreaded of phenomena: the Summer Blockbuster. But isn’t that a good thing? Should we not rejoice that the tools of cinema capitalism put our beloved Science Fiction […]