See you yesterday [2019]

“Aren’t you too old to be playing with toys?”


I watched this as part of the WATCHERS club in December and it has taken me so long to process how great this film is!

Produced by Spike Lee and directed by Stefon Bristol, this 2019 film follows science geniuses CJ Walker and her best friend Sebastian as they prepare for a technology expo. They’re trying to crack the key to temporal relocation or TIME TIME TIME TRAVEL TRAVEL TRAVELLLL. Then one terrible day, CJ’s big brother Calvin and his friend are leaving a party when two local kids who robbed a store run past them. The police mistake Calvin and friend for the thieves. Though not shown initially, we discover that Calvin is shot by them when he takes out his phone attempting to video the police as they brutality attack his friend. Grief-stricken, CJ throws herself into her work, thinking that she can save her brother. She and Sebastian fixes the tech and successfully jumps back a day, but there’s a catch. The wormhole is only open for a short time and she and her bestie have to get back to it before it closes. They jump and try to save her brother, but every time they do, they have limited time before the wormhole closes and changing the past causes unintended consequences.

I thought this was an incredible film. Whilst it is science fiction, that felt almost secondary to the social aspect of the film. I pre-judged the film from the poster. I didn’t know anything about it other than knowing it was about time travel and I mistook the film to be light-hearted. Boy was I wrong. The colourful and youthful poster made me think that it would be a childlike jaunt and I guess a part of me thought as I watched it that seeing as it focused on the future, maybe the future would be kinder to CJ and her family as they jumped further into the future but it just got harder and harder for them. I feel like the adult-type theme definitely speaks to current reality in USA. African American children are taught from a very young age that they need to be extra careful because racism is systemic. It’s so all encompassing that it is impossible to unpick it from positions of power like police, so African American parents teach their kinds from a young age what they need to do to stay alive. I don’t know about you, but my parents never had to warn me about the dangers of walking down the street, jogging or opening the door to my own house. African American children are not afforded the same right to a peaceful, innocent childhood like white people are. This film served as a poignant reminder of that and it was absurdly well done.

Really great soundtrack of BIPOC music of all different genres. I particularly loved the science montage to reggae. That was ACE.

Excellent cameo game from a certain someone (“Great Scott!”) It really felt like he was passing the torch to the next generation of time travel nerds.

So all in all, See you yesterday is a super vibrant and colourful film that you just never see the darkness coming but it is there everywhere, and it takes you like a kick to the chest. I loved that the film didn’t paint a Black mono culture. It showed how utterly diverse Black people are; the dialects, the food, the music`, the personalities, the histories, the heritage! Absolutely excellent film and really well done. I can tell this is going to be one that I will watch over and over and over.

Go watch it, yesterday,

Tagged : / / / / / / / / / / / / / /

I am Ren [2020, SciFi London 2020]

“They want you to think you did it…”


Directed by Piotr Ryczko, this film follows Ren (Renata), mother to Kam and wife to Jan. As a family, they seem like the image of contentedness and perfection until one day Jan comes home to a house in complete disarray and Kam and Ren in a state of despair and shock. Ren is bruised all over her body as is Kam, and she has intrusive memories of two men she doesn’t know observing her. Whilst recovering, she overhears her husband talking to two men that she has malfunctioned and that she should be packed up and thrown away. Ren is taken to a psychiatrist who asks her what has happened and she tells him that she is REN, an android and that it is an error. Her memory is fractured and she is unable to remember what went on that day. A woman called Ela tells her “humans might have some memory loss, but not you” and asks her if she can run a diagnostic and access her memories with a special key to find out what has happened, further insinuating that Ren’s husband cannot be trusted. Ren goes to her son Kam to find answers saying she believes she has been with him for only three years, but he shows her pictures which contradicts this belief.

Later, Ela accesses her memories and Ren sees the father Jan beating the child and talks Kam into running away with her. To prevent capture, she jumps into a frozen lake but is caught and has to remain for further psychiatric care. Whilst in care, she sees an advert for REN androids that ends up being about a toy and her belief structure begins to fall apart. The film ends on her seeing her family but there is someone with them. DUN DUN DAHHHHHH!!!

Wow what can I say. I thought this was a well made film, and what a great film to close the festival with. I know I’m going to be thinking about it for some time to come, because the ending was really ambiguous. I’m not sure which parts of what I saw was actually real. You could view it as a film about mental health and the ending is about a broken women seeing what her mind is projecting or she really was a REN android, and the unit she was taken to was for broken androids or they’d be turned into parts eventually. I like that ambiguity of the whole film. Particularly because the person REN befriends (Ela) feeds into her and my own (as the viewer) paranoia.

I don’t remember much of a soundtrack so I think it was pretty low key, and the visuals were kept pretty normal with quite monochrome and dull colours in the cinematography and costuming. So it’s really all about the story. The lake scene where you see her in the water after she has jumped in looks pretty rad. It’s quite an iconic looking scene. They hold her there for a while to savour the moment of her sinking.

So all in all, top film. Really enjoyed it. Nice concept and twists. I don’t know what to believe happened, even now. Nothing super flashy about the cinematography, but it was a well written story I thought. Go watch it.

Thanks SciFi London 2020 for putting these feature and short films up. I’ve got a few more short film reviews to share, but I’ve had such a ball watching all of these stories. The bar has been very high this year and I cannot wait for 2021. I liked having a virtual viewing just because I’m quite a home-body and I like writing/typing my thoughts as I go, which you can’t do in a real cinema, so I hope you have a virtual offering for future fests (thank you plz plz plz)! See you next year!

Tagged : / / / / / / / / / / / /

Replicas [2018]

“What if something horrible goes wrong?”

“Something already has…”


There aren’t many actors where I would watch anything they do regardless of what the negative reviews say of one of their films… but Keanu Reeves is one of them for me. The ratings on this film were startlingly bad but I decided to push through, because Keanu…

This is an age old story. Boy meets girl. They fall in love. Start a family. Boy creates technology that can transfer memories onto an android…. You know, classic… Well it is classic in science fiction! It’s that question that sci-fi often asks: Could humans live forever? If brain activity is just electricity firing in our brains, can we transfer that? Store it on a data chip? Synthesise neurotransmitters and the like? Or would we lose something in the process? Our soul perhaps? What even is a soul? This film’s existence poses those questions, but not in a very thorough way.

Really it’s a stereotypical ‘crazy scientist’ gets in over his own head bit. Keanu’s human experiments have all failed, but when tragedy befalls him he decides to try one more time, because he’s GOT A GOOD FEELING ABOUT THIS ONE. Unsurprisingly, the subjects who are the guinea pigs in this attempt are not consenting and have verbally opposed his tinkering prior, so what he ends up doing is extremely unethical, and then it becomes a fight to survive…

There’s a lot in this film that doesn’t make sense. SPOILERS! Firstly, his life’s work is based around human to android transfer, but following the tragedy he decides to grow human clones in tanks of fluid and transfer their memories that way. Why would they have bothered using cadavers and building complex androids in all experiments prior rather than just growing humans in the first place if that were possible the whole time? Wait a second? Whatttt?

There’s one part where someone who disappeared early in the film, and is mourned for having done so, turns up and you’re like HOW IS THIS ACTUALLY POSSIBLE. It’s not. Keanu made sure of that. So why the 180 degree shift? There are loads of these WHO WHAT HOW questions, with plot holes that make no sense.

There was a nice little easter egg in the form of a sneaky Kurios picture in the background of one of the scenes. Kurios was a scientist (called The Seeker) who believed there was an “invisible world in his larger-than-life cabinet full of crazy ideas and grand dreams”. Sounds a lot like Keanu’s character in this film, eh.

All in all, I think that this was an experiment better left alone. Decent CGI but the massive plot holes and a confused storyline really left this film in the mud. Even Keanu couldn’t pull this film into life. Would not recommend..

Tagged : / / / / / / /

Gemini Man [2019]

“You know when I’m happy, Pop? When I’m flat on my belly, about to squeeze a trigger. It’s the only time I’m happy.”


Gemini Man is a film about Will Smith as a hot-shot assassin who decides he wants to retire, but they JUST. WON’T. LET. HIM. GOOOOOOOO!

Without giving too much away, it’s also about science/technology and a mysterious operative who seems to know his every move. Will Smith’s character in it seems totally oblivious to the plot/what is happening though, even though he is supposed to be this hot-shot agent with an eye that could shoot a man on a moving train from like 20 miles away but he literally cannot see what is right in front of his face even when it is spelled out to him by his sidekick, played by Mary Elizabeth Winstead…

So as you can tell, the film didn’t quite work for me.

I didn’t believe either of the main characters, that they were who they were portraying or that they were capable of being them. This is all down to the script because I’ve watched Will Smith in tonnes of movies and I believe him in other films where he has been some sort of agent but for some reason the dialogue in this was just real bad and had that unfortunate effect.

The flow of the film felt very top heavy. The end section should have been this epic crescendo and build up but it felt like the last fight(s) just poofed and was over.

Lastly, and major spoilers here, the CGI was just off. We’ve all seen Will Smith as a twenty something in Fresh Prince of Belair, so seeing the CGI’d clone version of him and he looked odd… too shiny, his face was out of proportion to how he actually looks.. maybe even shorter somehow… I dunno, it really threw me and took away from my enjoyment of the film. The fight scenes between Will and Will looked like someone had put two Will dolls into a washing machine and filmed the ensuing battle from behind the door. There was very little definition so it took away from the fights.

Perhaps if it was just one thing that was off, then I would have accepted and enjoyed the movie, but because everything was not quite right, and the script was not strong enough to hold the film together, it was a no-go for me. I don’t think any other actor could have done it better justice. It really was all about the script and CGI for me.

So all in all, this isn’t a film I would recommend as a must-watch. It could have been amazing but it didn’t hit the target. PEW PEW. But as always have a watch and make your own mind up 🙂

Tagged : / / / / / / / / / /

Anon [2018]

“We have to believe our eyes, or the system doesn’t work.”


What struck me about this film very early on was how film noir it was (or at least, neo noir). It has all the major tropes of a noir film… the stylish monochrome, oppressive city landscapes, offcentre camera placements and angles/shadows, the misanthrope detective, a murder investigation, suspense, femme fetale, smoky cigarettes, revolvers and this intentional feeling of alienation for the main character as his story unfolds.

Everything has this bleak feeling in the film, which is quite fitting given the subject matter, i.e. a question that the film poses about technology, privacy and intrusiveness. They ask this question a number of times in a number of ways: “They say it’s for our safety… Why don’t I feel safe?” This hopelessness is a reflection of today’s feelings towards our own technology. It’s making our life easier, but at what cost? Are we actually happier for it? Is it worth it? (let me work it, I put my thing down flip it and reverse it….)

I really enjoyed the subject matter. Shows like Black Mirror ask the same sorts of questions about technology so it’s on everyone’s minds at the moment.

What I feel missed the mark is that a lot of (neo) noir films have their misanthrope hint to a troubled past to literally add to the mystery. If it’s subtle it preserves the mysteriousness of the character. However, in this film all the cards were laid bare regarding his past. Perhaps this was because of the surveillance element of the film, but it needn’t have been so. I didn’t need to see through his mind’s eye to know he was troubled. Just like some interactions didn’t need to develop the way they did to create tension and drama. It felt like if a little bit had been preserved, it would have given the film a lot more.

All in all, entertaining but quite a listless film that missed the mark a little for me and was just a little too predictable but in all the wrong sort of ways.

Tagged : / / / / / / / / /

Spiderman: Into the Spider-Verse [2018]

So good, this film gets THREE quotes:

“Wherever I go, the wind follows. And the wind smells like rain”.

“I’m taking this cube thing with me. I don’t know what it is, but I will do.”

“You got a problem with cartoons?!”


I don’t usually love a film at first sight, but within one minute I was truly in love. Into the Spider-Verse became one of my favourite films of all time in a flash! I open-mouth laughed. I cried. I was moved to heck. And I deeply loved this film and thought it was phenomenal. That’s how excellent a film it is.

So that ^ was the short version, but for the long version…

The soundscape is so excellently paired with the pacing of the action and it’s weird to say this but the levels were perfect. I watched the film with my partner and she usually reacts negatively where films get very loud for the action parts and then become quickly quiet which happens with most films, but there was no reaching for the remote. She didn’t need to because it was just really well done. I know, weird praise but it was just so good.

The film has a really great comic-style visual feel to it, with that classic comic lettering style prompting you throughout the story and showing the main character, Miles’, inner thoughts and feelings. The graphics are UN.FREAKING.BELIEVABLE. At times the colours are so vivid that it just blew my mind. Look closely and you’ll see the shading on the faces, which is a classic comic-move that make the characters come alive and feel like you’re reading a comic, except if a comic was in 5D… The fifth dimension is emotionsssss. Or it could be sleepiness. I’m not sure.

Kingpin is a mountain. He’s a goliath of a man. I felt intimidated by him just watching him and my hands got real clammy… I mean just imagine you’re a kid and you’re approached by a massive tank-man who is extremely dangerous and unhinged. That’s part of the reason why I loved Miles so much. When you first meet him, he’s much like every version of Peter Parker/Spiderman you’ve ever met in previous origin stories. He’s a kid. But he goes through this transformation while he’s trying to work out who he is in the world, he’s learning from mistakes and soon you see he is amazing, strong, fricking selfless and brave af. He does not hesitate to go toe to toe with anyone if it means securing someone’s safety. And that’s really what sets Kingpin and Miles apart. Kingpin is so selfish and is destined to repeat the same mistakes he has made in his life into perpetuity because he hasn’t accepted that he cannot control things, does not accept his part in his own downfall and will not learn. Kingpin’s vulnerability is his family, but then so is Miles’. The difference is that threats to Miles’ friends and family just make him stronger, not weaker like it does for Kingpin.

Anyway, my takeaway and life hack from that would be: Be more Miles.

There are lots of references to different styles of animation later in the film (like funny little ACME bits). It’s just so endearing and those fond little touches show you how much the makers love comics and animation. I know you would expect them to, but there are loads of animations that just feel like someone has banged out another film. Into the Spider-Verse feels like it was a little sprout that was fed and grew and fortified into greatness. Also the different styles worked seamlessly together.

The final boss fight scene begins literally like a platform game fight, and it was just one of many things that made me LOSE MY GODDAMN MIND watching the film.

I could go on and on.

The only ONLY criticism I have is that I wish the film was called INTO THE SPIDEY-VERSE. I’m just gonna call it that and you can’t stop me. You’re not my real daddy.

So all in all… it was alright…. said nobody because they all said it was AMAZING. Really excellent film. If I was to give stars, I would likely give it five stars out of five. But I would say just go see it. Even my partner – who is not a science fiction or animation fan – thought it was amazing which is not common. So it gets the TOUGH CROWD thumbs up!

Easily one of my top twenty films of all time. Maybe even top ten. Go watch it now. It’s on NOW TV. Hey you. Go, stop what you’re doing. That’s unimportant. Put that down. Okay you over there, finish what you’re doing in the bathroom and then bloody go do it now. In fact, I want to go watch it again too…

Tagged : / / / / / / / / / / /

EVENTS EVENTS EVENTS!

Quick update! Today I launched two new monthly events on the site/fb/insta starting November. Check them out below:


First off is THE WATCHERS, a monthly science fiction watch party which will be hosted on TeleParty. It’ll happen on the second Wednesday of every month @ 8pm (UTC+1, aka London time) and details about the film will be shared on the post and the link sent to attendee just prior to the event. You just need TeleParty to join!


The second is THE READERS, a monthly science fiction book review club which will be hosted on Zoom. It’ll happen on the last Sunday of every month @ 13:00 (UTC+1, aka London time) and details about the first book will be shared via the post and the link to discuss sent to attendees just prior to the event. You just need Zoom to join!


Check out the EVENTS LISTINGS page on this site to be taken through to the Facebook event page. Please register your interest if you intend to attend! All links will be sent privately for your security and so we can create a safe space free from internet jocks.

See you there!

Tagged : / / / / / / / /

Venom [2018]

“He has shit you have never seen…”


I have to be honest, I was a little put off of watching Venom knowing that Tom Hardy was on board, hence the two year gap. I’m a massive Marvel fan, but Tom does not have a good track record for playing characters with unusual accents, and Eddie Brock/Venom have strange accents! I think setting the bar low in my mind meant that whilst it was not an amazing film, I did really enjoy it.

Brock/Venom was actually really likeable. I’ve played Spiderman games and Spidey comics, and Venom being Spidey’s antagonist means he is painted as a monster. But in this version of the origin story, Brock starts out as a journalist and he has a lot of integrity. It just so happens that Brock merges with Venom for a good reason and they realise they are simpatico, two sides of the same coin, Brock’s Ying to Venom’s Yang!

There’s a really good scene early in the film where Brock is angry at his neighbour’s loud music playing. As we all know, Venom really dislikes it too and it rips him apart from his host. I like to think that Brock and Venom bonded over their severe dislike of rock music… Brock: Like Black Sabbath? Venom: No, hate them. Hate all rock music. It sux. Brock: Me too! We have so much in commonnnnnnn!

What I found interesting was that the original Venom story was that he was tracking a killer and Spidey thwarts his progress and that’s how Spidey becomes his enemy. But in this version, there IS no Spidey. It’s like a complete re-writing of the thing. I’m looking forward to see how Venom’s story develops with the Carnage sequel and how Spidey is introduced into that.

Overall, a lot of fun. Not Marvel’s best but definitely not their worst. Pacing of the film is good and Tom Hardy’s Venom is both likable and humorous.

P.S. No video for this post today unfortunately! But I’ll be back making my vid cliffnotes soon!

Tagged : / / / / / / /