The Terminator [1984]

“Listen, and understand! That Terminator is out there! It can’t be bargained with. It can’t be reasoned with. It doesn’t feel pity, or remorse, or fear. And it absolutely will not stop… ever, until you are dead!”


This is a fun rewatch. Really enjoyed this. Schwarzenegger is seriously spooky; I find it funny that they cast him given the line in the film that androids were created with organic skin to be hard to spot.. Schwarzenegger is not a man or actor you can ignore when he walks in the room! The robotics is charmingly dated & quaint, like the moment when its skin melts off & its bony, robotic figure is ambling slowly. Excellent intricate robotics shots, like when it is fixing the mechanics in its forearm(!) One of those films where if you look too closely at any of the detail - like time travel, paradoxes, timeline - it all falls apart, so you have to just accept it & not question things too much. Infinitely quotable & re-watchable.

This is a fun rewatch. Really enjoyed this. Schwarzenegger is seriously spooky; I find it funny that they cast him given the line in the film that androids were created with organic skin to be hard to spot.. Schwarzenegger is not a man or actor you can ignore when he walks in the room! The robotics is charmingly dated & quaint, like the moment when its skin melts off & its bony, robotic figure is ambling slowly. Excellent intricate robotics shots, like when it is fixing the mechanics in its forearm(!) One of those films where if you look too closely at any of the detail – like time travel, paradoxes, timeline – it all falls apart, so you have to just accept it & not question things too much. Infinitely quotable & re-watchable.

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RoboCop [1987]

“Serve the public trust, protect the innocent, uphold the law.”


 Image description: The image says the following: Directors: Paul Verhoeven / Genres: Sci-fi Action / Year: 1987 / Rating: ***__ / Review: Felt instantly familiar, having just watched Starship Troopers. Similar propaganda/TV shots throughout, satirical, energetic & goofy af. The timing of this & other films of the decade which questioned whether we can really trust technology is unsurprising, though I suspect the messaging will be lost in the coming decades to younger generations. People call this Verhoeven's masterpiece; in my mind he took some great ideas from this crudely put together film onto his other films which I think were far superior. That said, enjoyed it. Some great moments & one-liners. Robo suit still looks pretty impressive. I can see why it has influenced the industry so much.

Image description: The image says the following: Directors: Paul Verhoeven / Genres: Sci-fi Action / Year: 1987 / Rating: ***__ / Review: Felt instantly familiar, having just watched Starship Troopers. Similar propaganda/TV shots throughout, satirical, energetic & goofy af. The timing of this & other films of the decade which questioned whether we can really trust technology is unsurprising, though I suspect the messaging will be lost in the coming decades to younger generations. People call this Verhoeven’s masterpiece; in my mind he took some great ideas from this crudely put together film onto his other films which I think were far superior. That said, enjoyed it. Some great moments & one-liners. Robo suit still looks pretty impressive. I can see why it has influenced the industry so much.

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Archive 81 [tv] [2022]

“You should know the locals here are pretty weird.”


 Image description: The image says the following: Directors: Rebecca Thomas / Genres: Sci-fi Action Horror / Year: 2022 / Rating: ***** / Review: It has been a while since I watched a show that I was so engaged with from the first moment that I had to binge the entire thing. Excellent casting. Gripping storyline. Felt like an adult/supernatural version of NeverEnding story where you feel super connected with their world, almost like you are in the story with them. The twist right at the end left me pretty destroyed. I will never forgive Netflix for cancelling this; watch this gem before it is gone for good.

Image description: The image says the following: Directors: Rebecca Thomas / Genres: Sci-fi Action Horror / Year: 2022 / Rating: ***** / Review: It has been a while since I watched a show that I was so engaged with from the first moment that I had to binge the entire thing. Excellent casting. Gripping storyline. Felt like an adult/supernatural version of NeverEnding story where you feel super connected with their world, almost like you are in the story with them. The twist right at the end left me pretty destroyed. I will never forgive Netflix for cancelling this; watch this gem before it is gone for good.

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The One [2001]

“After this, there will be only one.”


Image description: The image says the following: Directors: James Wong / Genres: Sci-fi Action / Year: 2001 / Rating: **___ / Review: Utterly ridiculous, nonsensical & very fun. The nu-metal syncronised fight scenes dates the movie, making it feel very much like a time capsule. Scenes are over-acted. It's a film that knows unequivocally that it's not a serious film; that it’s never gonna win oscars. However, did I enjoy every minute of it? Absolutely. Technically a two star film, but a five star film of the heart.

Image description: The image says the following: Directors: James Wong / Genres: Sci-fi Action / Year: 2001 / Rating: **_ / Review: Utterly ridiculous, nonsensical & very fun. The nu-metal syncronised fight scenes dates the movie, making it feel very much like a time capsule. Scenes are over-acted. It’s a film that knows unequivocally that it’s not a serious film; that it’s never gonna win oscars. However, did I enjoy every minute of it? Absolutely. Technically a two star film, but a five star film of the heart.

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Crimes of the Future [2022]

“Human evolution is the concern. That it’s going wrong. That it’s uncontrolled, it’s insurrectional. It might lead us to a bad place.”


Image description: The image says the following: Directors: David Cronenberg / Genres: Sci-fi Horror Surreal / Year: 2022 / Rating: *____ / Review: It’s all quite Cronenberg, isn’t it. I think if you’re a fan of his style of film then there will be something here for you, but if not you will find it full of plot holes, and a  grotesque, dull slog of a film. Interesting concept. Poorly executed. Too much time spent attempting to be provocative & nowhere near enough time spent on storyline. This film cost $27 million to make, was a flop at box office and for what? Did it need to be made? No. Would absolutely not recommend. Unless you want to spend about 2 hrs asking yourself why. 

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Ad Astra [2019]

“In the end, the son suffers the sins of the father.”


 Image description: The image says the following: Directors: James Gray / Genres: Sci-fi Action Thriller / Year: 2019 / Rating: **___ / Review: This slow, sullen but visually stellar space-based thriller follows Roy's journey as he seeks to fill the void between himself and his father. Personally found Pitt pretty unbelievable in this role. Tommy Lee Jones gave a great performance as his reproachful and senile father, but his presence arrived too late to make any real difference. This film left me feeling empty. Would probably not recommend.

Image description: The image says the following: Directors: James Gray / Genres: Sci-fi Action Thriller / Year: 2019 / Rating: **___ / Review: This slow, sullen but visually stellar space-based thriller follows Roy’s journey as he seeks to fill the void between himself and his father. Personally found Pitt pretty unbelievable in this role. Tommy Lee Jones gave a great performance as his reproachful and senile father, but his presence arrived too late to make any real difference. This film left me feeling empty. Would probably not recommend.

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Palm Springs [2019]

“We kind of have no choice but to live. So I think your best bet is just to learn how to suffer existence.”


Image description: The image says the following: Directors: Max Barbakow / Genres: Sci-fi Comedy Romance / Year: 2020 / Rating: ***__ / Review: Starring Andy Samberg, Cristin Milioti and J.K. Simmons, this lighthearted comedy dips its toe into sci-fi with a modernised take on Groundhog Day. There's one moment in the film where the characters gloss over something saying "is it real? It doesn't matter" and I think that sums up a lot of the film. Is it great sci-fi? It's kinda goofy, and there are lots of questions left unanswered but otherwise entertaining. I would particularly recommend this for those who aren't normally super into sci-fi/fantasy.

Image description: The image says the following: Directors: Max Barbakow / Genres: Sci-fi Comedy Romance / Year: 2020 / Rating: ***__ / Review: Starring Andy Samberg, Cristin Milioti and J.K. Simmons, this lighthearted comedy dips its toe into sci-fi with a modernised take on Groundhog Day. There’s one moment in the film where the characters gloss over something saying “is it real? It doesn’t matter” and I think that sums up a lot of the film. Is it great sci-fi? It’s kinda goofy, and there are lots of questions left unanswered but otherwise entertaining. I would particularly recommend this for those who aren’t normally super into sci-fi/fantasy.

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The Prestige [2006]

“Are you watching closely?”


Image description: The image says the following: Directors: Christopher Nolan / Genres: Sci-fi Fantasy Psych Thriller / Year: 2006 / Rating: ****_ / Review: Incredible cast incl. Hugh Jackman, Christian Bale, Michael Caine, Scarlett Johansson & the late David Bowie. Such great on-screen chemistry. The film itself is structured like a magic trick. It starts out with a question, and the flourish leads you to question life itself. Very entertaining.

Image description: The image says the following: Directors: Christopher Nolan / Genres: Sci-fi Fantasy Psych Thriller / Year: 2006 / Rating: ****_ / Review: Incredible cast incl. Hugh Jackman, Christian Bale, Michael Caine, Scarlett Johansson & the late David Bowie. Such great on-screen chemistry. The film itself is structured like a magic trick. It starts out with a question, and the flourish leads you to question life itself. Very entertaining.

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Everything Everywhere All At Once [2022]

“I Wasn’t Looking For You So I Could Kill You. I Was Just Looking For Someone Who Could See What I See, Feel What I Feel.”


Image description: The image says the following: Directors: Daniel Kwan, Daniel Scheinert / Genres: Sci-fi Fantasy Action / Year: 2022 / Rating: ***** / Review: This film blurs the line between a simple story about tense family dynamics and multiversal surrealism. Michelle Yeoh masterfully navigates the viewer through the confusing tangle. Breathtaking visuals. Bears repeated watching. This film blew my mind. Definitely recommend.

Image description: The image says the following: Directors: Daniel Kwan, Daniel Scheinert / Genres: Sci-fi Fantasy Action / Year: 2022 / Rating: ***** / Review: This film blurs the line between a simple story about tense family dynamics and multiversal surrealism. Michelle Yeoh masterfully navigates the viewer through the confusing tangle. Breathtaking visuals. Bears repeated watching. This film blew my mind. Definitely recommend.

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Psycho Goreman [2020]

“It would be nicer if you were dead!”


So, starting back after a little summer holiday hiatus with a little fun…. Psycho Goreman is 2020 film directed by Steven Kostanski. It’s somewhere between sci-fi, fantasy, horror and gore, as the title implies. The film has themes of monsters, creature feature, space and aliens. It has obviously been dated and has the feel of an 80s or 90s film to me. 

Anyways so synopsis! The main stars, two siblings Mimi and Luke are playing a game only they know the rules to when they come across an unusual gem in a hole in their garden. Shortly after, a monstrous figure emerges from the same hole and creates a path of destruction and death. It identifies himself as “Arch Duke of Nightmares” and reveals its plan to destroy and imprison everything and everyone in its path. Looking for the gem, it meets Mimi and Luke, and Mimi discovers that the gem actually controls the monster who she names Psycho Goreman (or PG for short). She then wields this power for her own amusement. An intergalactic panel arrange to send a warrior down to earth to kill PG. Meanwhile we learn that PG’s aggression is an act of vengeance after his enslavement by the same group of beings now being sent to kill him. There’s some sub-plot stuff going on in the film where the parents of Mimi and Luke are clearly in dire need of a divorce (they’re truly awful people), Luke’s best friend gets turned into a brain, PG wreaks havoc on a policeman turning him into a zombified thing and manipulates Luke into revolting against Mimi in a bid to recover the stone. It all comes to a head with a final battle where Mimi fights Luke, Mum fights Dad, PG fights the warrior. With no end in sight, Mimi proposes a final battle using the game Mimi and Luke created together. It’s hard to describe what this game actually entailed due its complex rules and even harder for the characters to understand themselves but in any case, Mimi’s team wins, the gem is given back to PG and he promises to spare the family. The final scenes are of PG’s rampage across the universe. 

So, what do I think? The film as a whole is awful but in a really fun way. The acting was over the top and it felt like, as with a lot of gore films, many scenes were super gorey for the sake of gore like this crazy scene where we see the warehouse which is PG’s first stop in the film and it’s the most incredible scene you’ve ever witnessed. Body parts all over the walls, and a random guy’s eyes are just rolling back into his head into infinitum all because he said “I don’t want to die” so PG says “don’t worry I’ll make you live forever” and he is true to his word, leaving this poor homeless man in absolute hellish never ending agony. Brilliant. It’s so horrible that it ends up being really funny, sorta like when Joker does these truly heinous things to people in Batman films and there’s something so disgusting and amusing about it all. 

The young Mimi character in this is so sassy. She’s the perfect actress for this film and she’s kind of awful as well. I liked that she was so annoying that she didn’t read like a child acting as a child, she just felt genuinely like an aggravating brat. She used any opportunity to tell her dysfunctional parents to fuck of; there was really no telling her what to do, especially because they were the worst parents of all time. In a sense they were too caught up on their own stuff to really understand that their kids were in terrible danger until the last minute. They even met PG and their first instinct wasn’t to get the hell out of there. I like that the dad was very obviously going through huge trauma, i.e. there is something very wrong with this guy. He’s seen something that traumatised him. On the face of it, he seemed like a really lazy man taking advantage of a hyper functional wife but there were moments when he would look into the distance and you could see the whites of his eyes and you knew he was a broken man. 

One of the funniest moments is just a small bit where Mimi asks if PG wants a magazine of hot hunky boys and PG says “I DO NOT LIKE HOT HUNKY BOYS” and then he quickly changes his mind with “MAYBE I DO LIKE HOT HUNKY BOYS”. It was such an unnecessary moment to the plot but very amusing. There are many moments like this in the film that are unnecessary but wildly entertaining. Another moment like that is about Luke‘s best friend, who was turned into a brain which I mentioned earlier. It’s really not talked about in the film. Even when the film concludes and Mimi returns the stone to PG, there is no resolution for the kid who got turned into a brain. There is the scene at the end where you see him going to eat dinner with his parents are totally silent. Presumably enough time has passed and they have come to terms with this but it’s just such a weird scene. His hands are flopping around while he tries to use the fork and knife to eat. Can you imagine him becoming an adult brain? Can he have a family? What will he go on to work as? Does he have the average intelligence of a child or does the size of his brain-bod increase his intelligence? It’s really bizarre and I have questions. And the terrible fact is that it’s Mimi’s fault that he becomes like this, which really brings into question who is the real monster here: Is it PG or is it Mimi?

I mean.. Imagine being in the room when someone pitched the idea for this film. 

Film guy: Hey so there's a gem yeah, and a child finds it and it controls the ultimate villain of the universe. 
Some guy with money: Ok… 
Film guy: So the kid wields it over him
Some guy with money: Right… 
Film guy: But he manages to destroy a bunch of people, turn a child into a brain and fuse a gun to the hand of cop and zombify him
Some guy with money: And? 
Film guy: And there’s a warrior that looks like a mechanical angel you would expect to see in Doctor Who and some aliens who get killed with space knives
Some guy with money: Hmm
Film guy: And the villain promises not to kill her but then he kills literally everyone else 
Some guy with money: …
Film guy: And somehow I want to throw in a confusing kid’s game into the mix that no one knows how to play
Some guy with money: … 
Film guy: Are we making this or what?! **motions to do a high five but gets denied**

That is how I imagine it went, yet somehow this film was made. 

So all in all, entertaining and fun film to watch. Probably not going to win any awards and I question how and why it was made, but it was a fun couple of hours nonetheless. 

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Space Sweepers [2021]

“Who cares if a million lives are lost?”


Oh man, this film is incredible. Where do I even begin? So Space Sweepers is a South Korean space western film. It was released in 2021 and directed by Jo Sung-Hee. Apparently it’s regarded as the first Korean space blockbuster, which is amazing, and it’s available to watch on Netflix if you haven’t seen it. Obviously the next bit of this post is very spoilery (as per usual) so you know… continue at your own peril.

So the premise of the film is that it’s the year 2092 and the earth has become pretty much uninhabitable evidenced by people having to wear breathing apparatus when they’re moving around earth. UTS Corporation, run by their CEO/overlord James Sullivan, has built a new home for humanity which orbits earth and sort of mimics the ecosystem but as with most utopic cities, it is only available to the few elite people allowed to ascend. Meanwhile, the rest of Earth are left to suffocate and struggle. The film follows the shenanigans of a group of society known as Space Sweepers… which are kind of like road sweepers but in space. They’re tasked with collecting the space debris that floats in the earth’s orbit and they can then sell it to the company factory so big items are a big deal. The main characters work on the ship ‘The Victory. There’s Kim Tae-ho, Tiger Park, an android and Captain Jang. The backstories of each of these characters is really rich and very different. Tae-ho was a soldier who finds a baby and adopts it (a girl called Su-ni). He turns his back on being a soldier and then is made a non-citizen leaving him and his daughter homeless. This is so reminiscent of the way that a lot of countries treat their soldiers, that once they become useless to the state, they turn their back on them; so this specific backstory emphasises this reality. Anyway, he becomes neglectful and is therefore not paying attention when Su-ni is caught up in a collision between space debris and their sector. Su-ni is violently ejected into space and the government refuse to help find her body because he is considered a non-citizen. Tiger Park used to be a drug baron but has a heart of gold. Bubs was once a soldier bot. Jang was a child genius, but discovers how UTS works and decides to attempt to assassinate Sullivan, nearly dying in the process.

The crew pick up what they think is normal space debris, only to discover a child inside who the authorities are searching for. It is claimed that she contains a weapon of mass destruction created by the terrorist group Black Fox. They find a phone in her bag which they trace to a person willing to pay them two million dollars in exchange for the child. They arrange to meet the person at a nightclub but in the chaos, they lose the child Dorothy (Korean name Kot-nim) and UTS soldiers swarm the area, massacring people at the club (blaming it on the Black Fox group). It becomes obvious that Kot-nim is not just a normal kid and that she has some sort of power to manipulate nanobots and grow plants. The crew disagree about what to do as they attempt to make another exchange attempt. They are ambushed by masked people who reveal themselves to be fellow Space Sweepers working as part of the collective Black Fox which they explain is an environmental group; not a terrorist group. The group explain that the child was born of a disease and in an attempt to save her life, her father injects her with nanobots which gives her this special ability. It is revealed that UTS have been using this child to terraform Mars. that Sullivan plans to kill Dorothy and that this will be cataclysmic for Earth. They decide to work together to save humanity and reunite Kot-nim with her father and are momentarily successful but are then met with UTS soldiers who murder everyone save for the Victory crew and Kot-nim is kidnapped. Initially Tae-ho takes Sullivan’s finders fee but then realises he’s better than that and decides they must save the girl. The crew get to the bomb that Kot-nim is strapped to and free her but realise it cannot be diffused, that the only way to save her and the planet would be to separate the child from the bomb by 5,000 kilometres. Jang calls on all Space Sweepers to help on the emergency frequency. The Sweepers come to their aid and fight the troops. Sullivan intercepts them but they still manage to get away in time, revealing that they did a switcheroo.. That they gave the child to a friend and that instead they had the bomb. There’s a moment where you hear the inner dialogue of Sullivan as he says “Why? I did everything right” before he is destroyed. Kot-nim manages to protect them in the blast using her super cool powers, and the last scenes are of The Victory in the aftermath, Kot-nim happily living amongst the crew and the crew continuing to chase space debris.

So, there’s a lot going on this film and I really don’t even know what to say about it other than I thought it was just an incredible film.

Okay, I do have a lot to say. I have so many feelings.

I don’t want to be reductive but there is something so reminiscent in this film about Star Wars, specifically the ramshackle crew of Han Solo and co, the adventure of the Millennium Falcon. There’s moments in Star Wars where Han Solo is speaking in English, and Chewy in his language and they just get each other, and they move in and out of these dark corners of the universe with exotic creatures and it’s just incredibly mundane and ordinary seeming to watch it, even though it’s obviously like nothing you have ever seen before. I get that same feel when I watched this film. They’re kind of thrown together and everyone’s very different. At times they speak different languages but the Space Sweepers are just trying to survive. They have those jobs that seem really exciting but in this world, they’re considered the lowest rung of society. There’s this moment at the end of the film where the Victory spaceship whooses off after space debris and it brought me back to the whoosh of the millennium falcon. That same feeling of adventure and excitement that was so special it actually made me cry.

The cast are incredibly diverse. The version I watched was the original South Korean audio, with English subtitles, but throughout the film you hear a variety of different languages and accents. Russian. English. Middle Eastern. Spanish. German. And they all understand each other, which I thought was really cool. And then when you see the Black Fox group, that’s also represented by different skin tones and different accents, sometimes broken English/Korean. It’s not some homogenised version of the future like the colony is promising. It’s diversity and difference, coming together for a common cause, and I find that really quite beautiful.

I enjoyed very much the fact that the peripheral characters are so well fleshed out. I find often with blockbuster films that the main characters and their stories/dialogues will be fleshed out, but then all of the peripheral characters are very two-dimensional. A good example of that is in the Alien Prometheus film, and the end result of that is you don’t care about anyone except the main people… but what this fails to realise is that if you invest in more of your character building, that enriches the whole film. Some people see it as a sunken cost and merely a waste of time… but it creates such a rich film, it makes you get behind the story, it makes you invested in the story.. There are so many cool examples of this. For instance, the leader of the Black Fox group is also an accountant(?) for the UTS Corporation. You start off thinking he is a terrible pencil-pusher but he’s basically been working undercover this whole time. Then there’s the android Bubs, who the child instantly recognises is not a boy bot but a girl, and Bubs blushes and confides in her that she has been saving money from their jobs to upgrade and change her physique to one that represents her femininity. It makes her triumph in getting rich so much more endearing. Like at one point before that backstory was fleshed out, I was like why would an android want to be rich, but then you realise it’s for a very ernest reason which approaches the concept of transness in a way that I think both illustrates the feeling of otherness and also tells a story which endearing, and doesn’t use Bubs as just another joke at trans peoples expense.

All of the main crew also have different motivations for why they agree to sacrifice themselves for the child. Captain Jang wants to thwart the corporation and specifically Sullivan. Bubs has that sweet connection with the child where Kot-nim is probably the first and only person to see her as she truly is. I guess similarly Tiger Park is not seen as an object of fear by Kot-nim, where society does view him that way (which UTS plays off of with the propaganda they share with Earth as they scapegoat The Victory). Lastly Tae-ho sees his own daughter in this child, and decides to ‘step-up-to-the-plate’ in a way that he probably feels he was unable to with his own daughter in her final moments. So yeah, they all have different motivations but they ultimately add up to the same moral alignment. And I find it funny that despite the fact that these characters quarrel and fight amongst themselves and squabble after space trash, they still look out for one another. They sacrifice themselves without thinking, knowing that it is a suicide mission and have this deep integrity whereas society would suggest because of the line of work that they are in and their class status, they have no integrity. That they are simply vagrants and losers. If it wasn’t for the story having been leaked on the emergency frequency, you can guarantee that UTS would have spun that story that the explosion out on the edge of the universe was caused by someone else. Maybe even the Sweepers themselves! And then no one would have known about Sullivan’s evil plans. Which makes me wonder if the collision that killed Su-ni was even caused by space debris in the first place. What if there was some other reason and it was blamed on the Space Sweepers not doing their job correctly?

The one question I don’t think was answered properly, and forgive me if I missed this but what the absolute fuck was going on with Sullivan and the bulging veins?! He gave me vibes of white man saviour, like in the game Bioshock Infinite… you know where the guy becomes a prophet and claims to be the answer to humanity’s problems and builds this ‘utopic’ floating city but it turns out he is an absolute dick… Yeah you know the one..

Anyways, there’s so much in this film. It was really a joy to watch. Overall, this film is so exciting and complicated and heartwarming. On the face of it, if you look no further than the surface, it’s an adventurous romp across the universe, but not that far undearth.. a mere scratch below and it highlights af myriad of the current problems that exist in our society now such as class systems, inequality, how profit is reverred above all else, the fact that we are killing our own planet, our uncertain future, the ways in which we treat our most vulnerable… all in a fun and colourful South Korean package. It made me laugh. It made me cry. I adored watching this film and would absolutely watch it a million times over.

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