Movies set in space, take a bow

Tuesday, 16 December, 2014

Set to the music from the Interstellar soundtrack, “Mountains” by Hans Zimmer, and the words of Dylan Thomas’ “Do not go gentle into that good night”, recited by Anthony Hopkins, Max Shishkin has produced an impressive tribute to movies set in space.

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The typography of Ridley Scott’s “Alien”

Wednesday, 10 December, 2014

I linked to Dave Addey’s analysis of the typography of “2001: A Space Odyssey”, earlier in the year, and since that time he’s written similar articles on “Moon” by Duncan Jones, and now Alien by Ridley Scott.

This title card from Alien is an example – possibly the Ur Example – of a popular sci-fi trope, the Foreshadowing Inventory. Seven crew, you say? Hmm. Seven. Let’s hope nothing disastrous happens to them, one by one. And their course is set for a return to Earth, eh? Well, I’m sure that’s the likely outcome for this particular story.

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Intergalactic, Interstellar, or maybe even another dimension?

Monday, 8 December, 2014

While some are questioning the science of Interstellar, US film director Christopher Nolan’s latest feature, I was wondering – and be aware, spoilers ensue – if the name really suited a story that spans galaxies rather than stars. offers the following definition of interstellar:

situated or occurring between the stars

With the galaxy hopping that takes place, surely “Intergalactic” would have made a better title? Not really it seems, at least according, once again, to

existing, or occurring in the space between galaxies

Sure, events may play out in two galaxies, but very little really happens in between either of them.

As it turns out, Reddit members were way ahead of me, but in a brief discussion they reached the same conclusion. As a compromise though, we could instead call everyone involved astronauts on… some kind of star trek.

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Captain, I find your style of fighting to be illogical

Thursday, 4 December, 2014

Captain James T. Kirk, he of “Star Trek” fame, and once commander of the starship USS Enterprise, enjoyed a bit of biffo. Or perhaps that could really be said of William Shatner, who played the well known space explorer.

I remember years ago Shatner saying he was keen to incorporate a little more fighting into the films that the original cast made after the TV series had ended. He wasted little time availing himself of that opportunity when he took on the role of directing the fifth of the “Trek” films, The Final Frontier, in 1989.

I think that was quickly shown to have not helped a great deal though. Now, as if to make matters worse, the logic of Kirk’s hand to hand combat style is being called into question

The axe handle strikes which had served him so well in the past seemed to fail him against Khan. Axe handle strikes, for the ordinary man, are a great way to break your fingers. Perhaps this was bad form catching up with Kirk – who was notorious for not playing by the book.

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The Force Awakens, to tease us…

Monday, 1 December, 2014

Here it is, the big one, we’ve been waiting thirty years to find out what happened after events of Return of the Jedi, and now finally, the first official glimpse… the long awaited teaser for Star Wars: Episode VII – The Force Awakens.

Have you figured out the storyline yet, then?

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Dr Mann’s incredible “Interstellar” story by Christopher Nolan

Wednesday, 26 November, 2014

Long story short, without giving away too much in the way of spoilers I hope, stop reading now if that might be a problem though, Christopher Nolan’s last film Interstellar tells the story of a group of astronauts who set off from Earth, to find out how three earlier missions to three seemingly Earth like planets, went.

Their travels take them to the world that a colleague, Dr Mann, played by Matt Damon, was sent to. In the film, Mann’s experiences on this planet after he arrived there are really only hinted at. Working with Nolan himself, US comic book artist Sean Gordon Murphy now tells the story.

Tip: click the right and left sides of your monitor to scroll through the pages. You may also need to use your browser’s zoom feature too see things clearly.

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The force awakens… I didn’t know it could sleep

Wednesday, 19 November, 2014

Star Wars 7, the J.J. Abrams directed next installment – just over a year from release now – of the much loved sci-fi saga has a title… The Force Awakens.

Certainly intriguing, but I don’t know… somehow I have a bad feeling about this.

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Is it possible to make an odyssey out of “3001: The Final Odyssey”?

Tuesday, 11 November, 2014

There’s been talk for years of a movie based on 3001: The Final Odyssey, the final installment of Arthur C. Clarke’s four book series, that in turn was based on the Stanley Kubrick directed 2001: A Space Odyssey.

At one point it was suggested Tom Hanks would have a prominent role in such a production, but that particular project was eventually shelved.

Now it looks like “3001” may yet be adapted for the screen, with the news last week that US film director Ridley Scott will be acting as executive producer for a proposed television mini series based on the book.

While ok, I didn’t find either “3001”, or the title that preceded it, 2061: Odyssey Three, to be that great, especially when compared with “2001” or even Clarke’s second novel in the series, 2010: Odyssey Two. I’ll refrain from making any comment on the film adaptation of “2010” however.

But let’s see, fingers crossed, and what have you… some adept adaptation writing might see “3001” turned into a decent screen production.

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Music with a science fiction theme, in case you ever need it

Monday, 3 November, 2014

Some of the selections on this list of the top one hundred science fiction themed songs of all time may not be the sort of music you usually listen to, but here it is, if it’s a repertoire of science fiction themed tunes that you ever need for some reason.

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“Star Wars” as seen in a galaxy close, very close, to home

Wednesday, 29 October, 2014

Toronto based photographer Thomas Dagg brings the “Star Wars” universe right into our world by blending characters, devices, and craft, into a series of what are otherwise day to day photos.

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