Terrifying malls, time traveling serial killers, and renegade spaceships, oh my! Authors Alex Latimer, Lauren Beukes, and Sarah Lotz join Julia and Shaun for an in-depth discussion about South African SF, from the influences of Apartheid on contemporary SA literature to the film industry to fandom and publishing. You won’t want to miss this one!
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Exoskeletons, Tom Cruise dying-in-movie fantasies, and alien time loopers, oh my! Shaun, David, Paul, and Mike are joined by Rachael Acks (AGAIN) to take on the brand new Tom Cruise and Emily Blunt vehicle, Edge of Tomorrow (adapted from Hiroshi Sakurazaka’s All You Need is Kill). A little death never hurt anybody!
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Spoiler Alert: the following podcast contains spoilers for the film being reviewed; if you wish to see the film without having it ruined for you, download this podcast and save it for later.
Readers may be familiar with director Luc Besson’s previous work, which includes the excellent films like The Fifth Element (1997), Leon the Professional (1994; featuring a quite young Natalie Portman), or the lesser-known, but personal favorite, Unleashed (2005; featuring Jet Li, Morgan Freeman, and the late Bob Hoskins). These are wildly different films, but they are a testament to Besson’s versatility as a writer and director. The Extraordinary Adventures of Adèle Blanc-Sec (Les aventures extraordinaires d’Adèle Blanc-Sec; 2010), seems, then, to be a departure from what has come before, in no small part because this is a film which is coded for a younger audience by its humor and delivery. In that respect, it is a fun, if not somewhat uneven adventure comedy. Continue reading →
As something of an appendix to our Shoot the WISB discussion of the new Godzilla (where we were joined by Rachael Acks), I thought I’d talk a bit about something that I’ve always found very striking about It Came from Beneath the Sea(1955): the portrayal of Faith Domergue’s character, Professor Lesley Joyce. She is, on the one hand, part of a mini-trend in 50s monster movies where women are scientists (Them!, Creature from the Black Lagoon), roles that were virtually non-existent in the films of the preceding decades.* What makes It stand out, though, is that the narrative is at least as concerned with Joyce’s struggles to be taken seriously in a male-dominated world as it is about Ray Harryhausen’s magnificent octopus.
Joyce is, unsurprisingly, the only female character of any importance in the film. What is unusual, however, is that we are meant to notice her position, repeatedly pointed out in her interactions with submarine commander Peter Mathews. The latter is played by Kenneth Tobey, doing very much the same self-confident officer as in The Thing (1951). He keeps refusing to take her seriously, and the body language in the (colourized) still below is pretty telling: Continue reading →